Thursday, 17 November 2011

NEWSFLASH - Mbote Mobilises for War (Reuters)

From our correspondent in Zambuzi

A pre-emptive strike by aircraft of the ZAF and ZNAS early this morning on the naval base at Port Tchumba has caused extensive damage to dockside facilities and to a number of auxilliary vessels, according to a press communique from the Mbote Ministry of War.

In a further statement the Minister for War, Colonel Banga B'oum, also confirmed that naval units of the MCDF were undamaged in the attacks, as they were on patrol in the vicinity of Gogo Island at the time of the raid. This report has been confirmed by the naval spokesman for the Mbote Coastal Defence Force, Captain B'hirdsi, who accompanied journalists on a tour of the damaged dockyard area.

The MCDF has also claimed the downing by a SAM coastal battery of one of the Zumatan aircraft. An inspection of the wreckage by an independent UN military observer, Major Short-Cummins, has provided corroboration of the claim. The aircraft has been identified as a Skyraider of the ZNAS. The pilot parachuted into the sea off Gogo Island but has yet to be found.

In response to the Zumatan attack, the Minister for War has issued a general mobilisation of the armed forces of Mbote. A major reinforcement of both coastal and land borders with Zumata is underway, with heavy convoys of troops and tanks moving in the direction of the Npungwe Valley.

The Mbuto Air Defence Force (MADF) has scrambled it's Shenyang J5 fighter bombers for round the clock CAP patrols over the disputed border zone. In addition, the MCDF has dispatched two heavily armed Panga Class patrol vessels to the north of Lake Bagombo, with orders to sink any Zumatan naval or merchant marine vessels.

In a climate of increasing tension, the President Elect of Mbote, General Papi Mpongo, has addressed the population in a MBC radio broadcast from the presidential palace in Zambuzi:

'This is a day on which the people of Mbote will rise up as one to crush into the earth the unprovoked aggression of Zumata.  Long Live Mbote! On to Victory!'

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