UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 8, 301 AP.

Rebels demand the return of their leader

The South Bay-based paramilitary group responsible for the incursion into
Utanian territory over the weekend have demanded, through a letter to a
regional newspaper, the return of their leader captured by Utanian soldiers.

The Lasanne state regional newspaper, the Hamilton Times, has received a single
page letter claiming to be from the paramilitary group who invaded Utania over
the weekend. The letter was postmarked as posted in the Lasanne town of Kembley
on the border with South Bay, near the city of Twizel.

The letter, authored by a Major Aurente Kabul, demands the "safe return" of the
leader of the rebel group, Colonel Dajaran Philippe, who, it claims, is
currently being held by the Utanian Army guards, along with sixty other
"prisoners of war". The letter says that without the safe return of the Colonel,
there would be "stark reprisals" against the Utanian people.

The letter also claimed that there had been "repeated incursions by Utania into
South Bay", and demanded "reparations" for this.

Agents of the Utanian Protection and Intelligence Agency (UPIA) immediately
acted on the letter, seizing it, and extensively questioning postal workers in
the Twizel district. The agency refused to comment on the legitimacy of the
letter, or whether Colonel Philippe was one of the seventeen dead. Indeed, they
simply refused to comment, stating that they would report their findings to the
President.

Such a threat against Utania by any group in or outside the country has never
occurred before, making this the first such mission by the six-month old UPIA.

The letter provided little clue as to the nature of the rebel group, says
Hamilton Times editor Edward Delmore. It was direct and to the point, demanding
their leader's return, and a sum of money as "reparations". Mr Delmore was
forbidden, under the National Security Act 300 to state the amount precisely,
but indicated it was "in the millions".

That this has occurred in election season has prompted some to claim it is
either being manufactured by the Utanian government to illicit support away
from the hard, militarist talk of the Liberal Nationalists, or a foreign-
sponsored plot to destabilise the government.

So far, no information has been forthcoming from the government about this new
threat, or regarding their investigation into the affair. However, a
declassified letter to the Zartanian Ambassador says the government does not
subscribe to conspiricy theories by Nationalist Party leader Thomas Abels that
it is a MCZ-Armatirion plot against the country, and declined military support
from the Empire.


©UPA, 301 AP.

<TECH>
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)