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MOSQUE HIT BY BOMB; RAIL TRACK REPAIRS CONTINUE

Explosives stuffed inside a bottle damaged a motorcycle parked at a small mosque in Narathiwat's Rusoh district yesterday but caused no injuries.

Police were called at about 11am and rushed to scene with a bomb squad and forensic officials.

Debris from the home-made bomb, placed in a bottle, was retrieved. The explosion left a hole an inch deep and four inches wide. A motorcycle with a Yala licence plate parked near the scene was damaged by shrapnel.

Initial police inquiries found that two men on a motorcycle entered the mosque and went to wash their faces at a water tap near the building.

They reportedly took the opportunity to place the bottle of explosives near the motorcycle. The blast occurred about two minutes after they left.

Meanwhile, rail services to and from Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok station are due to resume today, said Piraphon Tapvej, head of the Railways of Thailand's southern centre.

Services were suspended early on Sunday after a big bomb hit a compartment on Train 435 on the Yala-Sungai Kolok route.

Police said the bomb was put close to rail tracks and triggered by insurgents just as the ill-fated compartment carrying security volunteers passed the spot. The train had slowed because of a slope, enabling the insurgents to easily choose their target.

Three volunteers were killed and scores of people injured.

The clean-up, track repairs and removal of damaged carriages, were initially due to be completed yesterday but got delayed until today to allow daily trains to and from Sungai Kolok station to start running again.

Meanwhile, police and army officials met to review security for trains after the fatal attack in Narathiwat's Rangae district.

They agreed they would change the landscape through which the 14 daily trains to and from Sungai Kolok pass. Some parts of the route are sheltered with thick forest while others are sloped.

They said this terrain allowed insurgents to attack the trains.

The 24-kilometre route passes 14 villages and four tambons. Four of the villages are considered risky areas. The meeting agreed to boost patrols along the route passing the four villages and that villagers should be assigned to join the patrol teams.




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