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UPDATE: Three missing, presumed dead, after another bomb attack in Songkhla

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UPDATE:

Three more Thai railway workers are missing, believed to have been killed, while four others have been injured, in another explosion this morning. Today’s explosion happened about 200 metres from the scene of last Saturday’s, when a freight train, travelling from Hat Yai town to the Malaysian border, was derailed.

The three men were part of a group of seven State Railway of Thailand employees and were working on the damaged rail tracks and removing last Saturday’s derailed carriages.

One of the men, who escaped with minor injuries, says this morning’s explosion occurred as they were walking back from the scene of last Saturday’s explosion.

“The force of the explosion threw us in different directions… we ran away for our safety. Once I recovered from the shock, I noticed three of our colleagues were missing and called out for them… there was no response.”

The three missing men were identified as Phumiphan Petchsuk, Nawarith Suwanchatri and Yingsak Chumtri.

Southern security forces have sealed off the area and will continue their investigations as they try and locate and identify the missing men.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Police in Songkhla are hunting for suspected insurgents after a bomb placed on a railway line caused a train to derail on Saturday. The bomb was set off in the Sadao district. It’s understood no injuries were reported at the time.

The cargo train was travelling between Hat Yai and Padang Besar and was approaching Khlong Ngae railway station when a loud bang was heard. 11 of the train’s 20 cars were derailed and badly damaged. However, there was nobody in those cars at the time of the incident.

Officials from the State Railway of Thailand have confirmed that the loud noise was a bomb blast, caused by a homemade device. The blast left a hole 2 metres deep under the track. Work began yesterday to salvage the train and repair the track.

Meanwhile, Wara Vechapinan from the Songkhla Provincial Police says he believes the attack was carried out by southern insurgents from elsewhere in the region. Police have launched a manhunt, while bomb disposal experts clear the area and forensic experts collect vital evidence from the scene.

It’s understood a number of suspects have already been questioned but there has been no major breakthrough in the investigation yet. Wara says he believes the incident was designed to cause disruption as opposed to human casualties as the perpetrators targeted a freight train and not a passenger service.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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