Security authorities in the southern provinces have tightened their guard following an attack in broad daylight on a train in Narathiwat on Tuesday, which killed a security volunteer.
Police and army troops have set up more checkpoints on the road and were seen patrolling the railway, paying particular attention risky spots in Cho I Rong, Rangae and Rusoh districts in Narathiwat.
More than 10 insurgent opened fire on a Sungai Kolokbound train running between Bukit and Isatia station in ChoIRong district at about 5pm on Tuesday.
The shooting injured two security volunteers on the train, Suthipong Hirunpan and Assasuwan Jehlateh. Suthipong suffered a head wound and was pronounced dead at the hospital. The second volunteer is being treated at Sungai Kolok Hospital for a leg wound. None of the passengers on the train were injured.
Investigation showed that the insurgents were divided into two groups: the first opened fire at the moving train while the second blocked any attempted support from other train protection volunteers by shooting at their post nearby. The shooting lasted about five minutes before the insurgents escaped and retreated into a rubber plantation away from the tracks.
The Surat ThaniSungai Kolok train that was attacked is now at Sungai Kolok train station pending forensic investigation. The train’s passenger carriages numbers two, three and four were riddled by bullets.
The authorities believe that the shooting was in retaliation for the killing of a member of the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) group by a local defence volunteer shooting from a train on Saturday.
At Hat Yai train station in Songkhla province, more security volunteers were deployed on all trains leaving the station to the deep southern provinces.
Thanongsak Pongprasert, chief of the southern railway office said that the security on all routes, trains and at stations is tight but following Tuesday’s attack, security would be further tightened at some risky points.
He said he expected people to give more cooperation to the authorities, as the insurgents had launched their attack on a public mode of transportation.