Kourmonen, The Bleak Lands - At 17:48 today, Kourmonen fell to assaulting vessels from a combined fleet from the Minmatar Tribal Liberation Force and the Gallente Federal Defence Union.
For the last 15 days, a steadily-escalating struggle has raged for control of key military installations in Kourmonen itself and the surrounding constellation of Sasen.
Kourmonen is a crossroads in The Bleak Lands, controlling the gates giving access to most of the Amarr-held systems in the region. The system has held a particular strategic importance for the conflict between the Amarr 24th Imperial Crusade and the Matari Tribal Liberation Force as it is sited roughly midway between the high-security borders of the two nations and houses stations with medical facilities and factory space to support rapid ship production and deployment; it has therefore been a fairly frequent staging point for Amarrian forces.
As the Minmatar forces attempted to destroy a 24th Imperial Crusade control bunker in the system, fleet members engaged a 21-strong fleet from B A N E outside a local station. B A N E is an alliance of sizeable pirate forces operating in and around Amamake, including such corporations as Wrath of Fenris, Mugen Industry and Final Agony. The Tribal Liberation Force, including such affiliate corporations as Tribal Core, Mutineers and CTRL-Q deployed almost 40 pilots against B A N E in a battleship-heavy configuration favouring the Typhoon as the ship of choice with additional firepower supplied by a squad of Hound stealth bombers, while B A N E primarily fielded Armageddons and Megathrons for a combination of strong defences and very high outgoing damage.
Though the Tribal Liberation Force fleet was eventually victorious, the battle raged for close to an hour with B A N E allegedly fighting to the last man.
With the fall of the last of the pirate vessels, the Minmatar-Gallente fleet were able to engage and destroy the 24th Imperial Crusade bunker in the system with Amarr forces apparently unable to field a sufficiently strong fleet to sensibly engage them.
Sources within the 24th Imperial Crusade attribute recent system losses to poor morale, the reason for which they cite as the use of high-speed Rifter and Vigil frigates by the TLF, which can allegedly capture well-defended military installations while evading much of the firepower turned against them. Other sources, however, claim that the 24th Imperial Crusade is beginning a slow recovery and making each system more difficult and time-consuming for the Minmatar to take than the one before.
The fall of Kourmonen puts a total of 7 Amarr systems in the hands of the Tribal Liberation Force.
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