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Paramilitary invaders retreat over border

Saturday, June 3, 301 AP
Web posted at 2046 UST.

YAN GROR UTAN, Utania (ZGN) -- The Utanian Army has declared the "battle of Yan Kope" an Utanian victory with the paramilitary force retreating back over the border into South Bay after losing 79 of their number.

An Army spokesman, Colonel James Tehan, confirmed that an estimated thirty paramilitaries had escaped over the border, but 79 of them have been captured or killed. He confirmed that they "clearly were not South Bay armed forces, but were using equipment used by the South Bay Army."

The spokesman also confirmed that nineteen Utanian soldiers were wounded, including three from the initial patrol contact with the paramilitaries. None
Map of Utania, fighting in northern Savana state
of the injuries were listed as "serious".

In the end, an Utanian force of over 4,000 soldiers, 18 armoured vehicles and six jet fighters pressed down on the paramilitary force, after President Okarvits ordered the 11th mechanised infantry Brigade into the fray. While many of the Brigade spread one hundred kilometres either side of the border breach to check for additional border incursions, at least 2,000 soldiers arrived at 0350hrs to engage the paramilitary force directly.

Utanian armoured personnel carrier races to the scene   After two hours exchange of heavy machine gun fire, it was feared that the paramilitaries were preparing a break-out, despite being essentially surrounded. General Armota, commander of the 11th Brigade ordered the Utanian force to advance
on the paramilitaries at 0730hrs this morning.

Few paramilitaries resisted the attack, and it was discovered that during the night a large contingent had already fled. Sixty-three paramilitaries were captured or found dead there, while the retreating force was engaged as they attempted to cross the border. Another thirteen were captured, and three killed, but thirty or more managed to cross the border into South Bay.

Utanian border patrols first engaged the paramilitary force from South Bay on Friday evening as they patrolled the border. While the patrol retreated, an Army helicopter, equipped with infra-red cameras tracked the movement of the paramilitaries, despite being fired upon. The Border Guard's rapid response battalion, 560 troops, arrived at 0900hrs on Saturday morning and attempted to force the surrender of the paramilitaries, to no avail, instead engaged them, pinning them in light bushland 23km from the Utanian-South Bay border. President Okarvits then ordered the 11th Brigade to enter the fray, from their base in western Lasanne state, 280km west of Luka.

Nineteen Utanians are wounded, no deaths, while the paramilitaries have experienced fifty-one casualties, including seventeen deaths, and twenty-eight paramilitaries have surrendered.

The overwhelming strength of the Utanian response and the apparent unwillingness of the paramilitaries to surrender resulted in such a high casualty rate, explained the Army's spokesman. He said that the paramilitaries "were essentially surrounded when the Rapid Response battalion arrived."   Utanian machine gunner fires on paramilitaries

"I guess they thought they could overwhelm the Utanian regular army." He added that the paramilitaries were very well equipped, having several large calibre machine guns.

He said that the sixty-two paramilitaries in captivity would be held as prisoners of war until official word could be obtained from the South Bay government. He confirmed that they would "most certainly" be questioned as to the reason for the incursion, and confirmed that they were told by loudspeaker "no less than fourteen times" that they were in Utanian territory. He agreed that the final number of the paramilitaries would have been "about 110" in hindsight, but denied that the Utanian response was "brutal".

President Okarvits confirmed that he had ordered the 19th Heavy Infantry to strengthen the border presence along the northern border with South Bay. He said he did not believe the South Bay government was "secretly trying to invade Utania".

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©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)