Region of Concern: Thailand
Written By Cayla Lee; Edited by Claire Bracco and Amy McGee
Date: December 6, 2022
Khlong Ngae Railway Station in Southern Thailand
Event: On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, a bomb in southern Thailand killed three railway workers and wounded four. The Thai workers were clearing and repairing the tracks near Khlong Ngae Station that were wrecked by an earlier bomb over the weekend. The earlier explosion, which occurred at 0630 on Saturday, did not result in any injuries, only damaging the freight train and forcing the route to close. Police said no subjects have been identified this early in the investigation. The attacks were carried out after a relatively peaceful period following past clashes between the government and anti-government separatists.
Significance: There are three major concerns. First, it is likely that the attackers set off the first bomb to attract first responders and media attention. It is very likely that the attackers deliberately waited for responders to arrive on site before detonating another bomb. This very likely indicates that the attackers are escalating their intentions to cause fear and loss of life. The attackers are likely preparing to reveal their motives which would very likely allow them to reach a larger audience. Second, if the attackers continue attacking transportation routes, whether for freight or passengers, additional security measures would very likely be implemented into stations and checkpoints. This would likely slow down travel time and disrupt the economy as authorities would very likely conduct more thorough searches and screenings of freight cars, passengers, and baggage. Third, it is likely that since the region has experienced decreased violence in recent years, there is greater concern for maintaining stability as it is likely that authorities have less experience handling similar violence.
Recommendations: Law enforcement should increase security by appointing additional personnel and surveillance equipment to the area surrounding the Khlong Ngae Station in case attackers return to strike again. Law enforcement should increase security at other freight stations located on the same route. Security should also be increased at stations for passenger travel in case the attackers escalate even further by targeting more populated areas. Law enforcement and security personnel in the field should identify suspicious behaviors and report to each other to ensure a clear flow of communication is maintained. The general population should be advised to remain vigilant in public settings and immediately report suspicious behavior to authorities. Governing leaders, law enforcement, transportation authorities, humanitarian aid groups, and medical providers should coordinate emergency management efforts and prepare for a larger attack that would claim more lives and property damage. The government should also inform neighboring countries, especially trading partners, about possible disruptions to routine practices as the investigation continues. Neighboring countries should monitor the situation to accommodate for possible changes to imports and exports.
 3 railway workers killed, 4 wounded in Thai train bombing, AP News, December 2022, https://apnews.com/article/thailand-bombings-6d8ba862459ffed58f5f4e952f443b41