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Repair of damaged rail track in Narathiwat on schedule

REPAIRS to a section of rail tracks in Narathiwat's Ra Ngae district damaged by a recent bomb attack is well underway, a senior State Railway of Thailand official said yesterday.

The line is expected to be ready for service on June 1 as scheduled, Adul Torlaena said.

An 80-metre section was damaged by the attack on May 14 when 14 trains were forced to halt service, he said. Local residents helped SRT workers with the repairs, assisted by men from a paramilitary ranger unit.

The damage cost around Bt1.7 million and the SRT has been paying out around Bt100,000 in travel costs to train passengers who had reserved seats before May 14.

Tanyongmas train station chief Manop Muenpreecha said SRT would not burden passengers with the cost of tickets bought after May 14 for trains travelling to Sungai Kolok district as a final destination.

Meanwhile, a bomb went off in Ba Cho district yesterday, wounding a soldier belonging to a Marine squad on a mounted patrol mission. Navy Explosives Ordnance Disposal personnel said the homemade bomb, with 25 kilos of explosives contained in a cooking gas cylinder, was planted near a power pole on a road used regularly by patrol units.

A military news briefing revealed 39 security incidents, 94 other incidents and 23 involving personal conflict took place from March 31 to May 26. The violence led to 67 deaths and 184 cases of injuries. Authorities have 55 suspects in custody, 14 seized firearms, five explosives disarmed and one suspected insurgent killed.

Some 165,000 amphetamine tablets had been confiscated along with other narcotics and contraband petrol, with 13 drug suspects arrested, said a senior police commander, Pol Maj-General Sakhon Thongmunee.


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