The Traveller's Aid Society has obtained an exclusive interview with Major Windan Lorimer, Imperial Marines (ret.), recently returned from six months of duty as a captain of auxiliaries engaged in counter-insurgency actions on Efate (Regina 0105-A646930-D).
In the interview, Major Lorimer revealed that four months ago his battalion became engaged in a firefight and subsequently captured twenty insurgents, two of which were officers. Subsequent medical examination revealed that one of the two was actually a Zhodani officer serving as an advisor to the Ine Givar cadres.
In response to queries concerning Major Lorimer's claims, Rear Admiral Lord Santanocheev, CINCNINT/RS (Commander-in-Chief, Naval Intelligence, Regina Subsector) today held a press conference during which he claimed that Naval Intelligence was convinced that there was neither Zhodani or Ine Givar involvement in the Efate disturbances.
"What we have on Efate is a local, very minor situation. We're handling it with local forces and a few mercenary contingents. If it were serious, we could commit army or marine assets. We have some very potent assets in this subsector, but we haven't felt the need to commit them. This is not a serious situation,", he reported.
When asked about the report of a Zhodani officer, Lord Santanocheev replied, "Naval Intelligence has this man in custody, and I can assure you that he is not a Zhodani officer, or a Zhodani anything. I fought the Zhodani twenty years ago in this subsector. I know the Zhodani, and this man is not a Zhodani."
When contacted afterwards, Major Lorimer refused to comment on the Admiral's remarks, beyond insisting that his original reports had been accurate. [JTAS #5]
Reliable sources in the defense establishment have admitted in private that the Imperial Army's 1197th Separate Light Infantry Brigade has been engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the Vandere district of Kormoron (Efate's northern continent) for the last eight months. When asked to comment on Rear-Admiral Lord Santanocheev's recent claim that no Imperial army or marine units had been committed, they declined. One official did explain, however, that the brigade was only employed in mopping up operations and had been inserted only to allow rotation of indigenous troops out of combat. "Once all the local units in Vandere have had a spell in the rear, the 1197th will be pulled out," he said. [JTAS #6]
A spokesman for Tukera Lines announced indefinite suspension of high capacity commercial service to the Regina subsector pending outcome of the official investigation of the Trimkhana-Brilliance tragedy.
Less than a month ago, the 800-ton liner Trimkhana-Brilliance was lost with 217 lives due to a jump capacitor discharge immediately prior to jump. While all four survivors of the disaster are still under intensive medical care, interviews with the one surviving crew member indicate that the capacitor discharge may have been due to a delay in jump after full charging due to a failure of the port inboard L-Hyd drop tank to separate completely.
A Tukera Lines press release stated that a team of company engineers would be "taking a long hard look at General Shipyards' quality control standards."
In the wake of the announcement of high-capacity service suspension, General Shipyards common stock fell 34 points in the Regina exchange before exchange officials suspended trade. Oberlindes Lines stock closed up 5 3/8. [JTAS #6]
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