A passenger train in the province of Yala, in the Deep South, attacked by armed men

Gunmen opened fire on a passenger train in the deep south province of Yala, damaging the train’s braking system. All southbound trains to Narathiwat have now terminated at Yala and the Hat Yai branch of Thailand’s national railway union is calling for increased security measures, according to the Bangkok Post. Insurgent-related violence occurs frequently in the southeastern provinces near the Malaysian border.

The gunmen allegedly hid in the bushes by the track and fired at train No. 454 as it passed through Raman district in the province around 5pm yesterday, according to the Rueso police station chief. The locomotive driver traveling from Sungai Kolok to Yala said he ducked down when he heard gunshots but continued to drive the train to the next station which was not not too far ahead. Territorial defense volunteers on board fired shots at the attackers, the driver said.

The train’s braking system was damaged by the gunfire, but the driver was able to stop the train at Balo Station. No one aboard the five passenger cars was injured. Reports say six bullets hit the train, damaging the braking system, and one hit the first passenger car.

A train in Narathiwat was attacked on August 28. A bomb exploded and the Bangkok Post says shots were fired at a train car.

Jose P. Rogers