SRT slams brakes on train services to Sungai Kolok and in Narathiwat
The State Railway of Thailand responded to the shooting at a train in Narathiwat on Thursday by promptly suspending all services in and to the southern border province.
An unknown number of Muslim insurgents opened fire on Bangkok-Sungai Kolok passenger train No 171 on Thursday.
One of the bullets hit the windshield of the train engine and narrowly missed the head of the driver, Phimarn Mitsuwan.
Phimarn and the onboard mechanic, Himkum Yusoh, were not injured in the ambush that occurred between the Ba Loh and Ruesoh stations.
An SRT official, Prachaniwat Buasri, said the fact that insurgents fired at the engine showed they intended to harm the driver.
Prachaniwat said the incident had terrified train drivers and officials on southern trains so the SRT had to cancel the Bangkok-Sungai Kolok and Sungai Kolok-Bangkok train services. The SRT also cancelled all local train services in the province that terminate at the Sungai Kolok station, he said. Sungai Kolok borders Malaysia.
Prachaniwat said Narathiwat residents who want to take a train to the upper provinces must travel by road to the Yala provincial station first.
“This measure will be enforced indefinitely for now,” Prachaniwat stated.
Passengers in Narathiwat who have bought tickets can ask for a full refund at any railway station near their homes, he added.
According to Deep South Watch, there have been 21,485 insurgency-related incidents from January 4, 2004, until March 31, resulting in 7,344 deaths and 13,641 injuries.