SUSPECTED insurgents yesterday opened fire at a passenger bus, injuring eight passengers as guards on the bus fought them off in Yala's Krong Penang district.
Bus driver Winai Preechachote told police the Muang Yala district-bound bus, with 10 people aboard including himself, was passing two men standing on the side of Highway 410 (Yala-Krong Penang) at around 7am when they suddenly pulled out pistols and fired at the vehicle. Winai said he sped away and, after learning that several passengers were wounded, headed to the Central Yala Hospital.
The injured were identified as Jamnian Niamprom with a gunshot wound on the hip, Arob Chuthong, Mati Sayakij, Prajak Sanyakij, Ritthipol Makkliang, Kim-in Songsri-in, Nunam Thawornwong, who sustained injuries in her leg, and Urai Thammachote. Five people were later released while two gunshot victims and one woman with traumatic shock were hospitalised.
Yala Governor Dejrath Simsiri visited the injured at the hospital and presented them with initial assistance money.
Defence volunteer Prajak told the governor that he and Mati, also a defence volunteer, fired back at the assailants while the bus driver sped away. Prajak, who sustained bruises in his back and leg from bullet fragments, said that after hearing gunshots he shouted for all passengers to stay down and returned fire.
In related news, a policeman was injured by a roadside bomb while overseeing traffic in front of Wiang Suwan Wittayakhom School in Narathiwat’s Waeng district yesterday.