THE COMMANDER of 4th Army Region ordered strict security in all 14 southern provinces after the bombing of a freight train in Sadao district of Songkhla province yesterday that derailed 10 of 15 cars with there being no injuries, Matichon newspaper said today (Dec. 4).
Lt. Gen. Santi Sakulntaknark said the bombed track had been cleared and forensic police would now be checking the type of bomb used.
The blast is believed to be the work of insurgents who want to cause chaos and destroy the economy with yesterday’s attack having taken place outside the three provinces and four districts they are usually active in.
“All units have been instructed, especially those part of the Internal Security Operations Command, provincial governors, police and soldiers, to check various places that are being focused on in all areas such as airports, government buildings, monuments and railway stations and control them well,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Santi added that he had prepared a plan to beef up security since last month because during New Year there are many festivals with meetings held with relevant agencies. All parties will be working together to ensure the safety of tourists at key destinations such as Hat Yai, Songkhla, Phuket and Koh Samui.
Asked if the army is trying to contain insurgency to the three southernmost provinces, Lt. Gen. Santi said their activity cannot be limited to a certain area but all areas are well controlled and taken care of with the public urged to notify the authorities if they notice anything unusual.
A southern border security unit said yesterday’s bombing is likely the work of an insurgent group led by Mr. Azman Poh Loh who recently travelled to this area to survey the Hat Yai-Padang Besar railway line and choose the site to attack.
However the freight train blast has not affected the southern passenger trains as they run on different tracks.
Top: The bombed freight train. Photo: Matichon
Insert: Lt. Gen. Santi Sakulntaknark. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Front Page: A train heading south. Photo: Matichon