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Curufinwe

Interstellar News Agency Special Report VI

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Catian military officials are said to growing concerned as the conflict with Arakhari pirates escalates in the Abaren and Matar systems.  Fighting that began as isolated skirmishes has grown into full-scale battles involving dozens of spacecraft, with the Arakhari rapidly eroding Catian military superiority with relentless hit and run attacks that have left two dozen Catian ships and more than three times as many fighters destroyed, missing or disabled.  Although Catian warships responded to the capture of their primary docking facilities by successfully disabling an Arakhari outpost in the Matar system, the loss of local shipyards to Arakhari landing parties have left Catian forces in an increasingly precarious position.  Nevertheless, Catian leaders have vowed to defend their claim to the systems 'whatever the cost' and both sides are said to be rushing reinforcements to the region.

In the Tudran system, fighting has moved to the surface of the colony world of Pysny after several clashes with the Purrsian fleet forced the Tatrean fleet to withdraw.  Purrsian ships have imposed a strict blockade on the planet, turning away LT&S ships seeking to trade at local markets as their ground forces ready an offensive against the colonial garrison.  Tatrean forces, meanwhile, are said to have dug in the cities, although a tide of refugees fleeing the Purrsian advance is believed to be disrupting their defensive preparations.  Arakhari mercenaries are also said to be present on the planet, although reports of looting, extrajudicial killings and atrocities against Tatrean civilians have been vehemently denied by NSS representatives.

In business news, tensions are rising between ONI and LT&S over conflicting claims to mineral, colony and trade rights in a number of systems.  ONI directors are said to be seething following LT&S' decision to build new docking facilities in the Eidera system, a move that analysts say is the first step to establishing a visible LT&S presence in the area.  This was followed by an unsuccessful attempt by ONI to colonize the Mizar system, only to discover that LT&S had already established its own colony on the system's only habitable planet.  Although ONI spokespersons have refused to publicly comment on the dispute, rumours are spreading that investors are growing concerned over the loss of market share in the face of increasing LT&S competition.

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