Guristas assault Vellaine III, abscond with ground combatants

New Eden News | YC115-01-30

Vellaine - The Guristas Pirates made a raid on Vellaine III last evening, apparently interjecting themselves in the middle of ground fighting between Caldari ground forces and an unidentified group of combatants. The Guristas managed to organize an extract of large numbers of the combatants via a Rhea-class jump freighter despite losing several ships in the attempt.

The Guristas arrived in Vellaine roughly around 20:00 under the command of Guristas commander Ohminen Sin, where they made contact with an individual named Koraski Hakatain, apparently acting as a representative of an unknown force battling against Caldari State forces on Vellaine III. Hakatain requested assistance from the Guristas, who soon after warped a fleet into orbit of the planet. Their fleet included a Rhea-class jump freighter, apparently stolen from the Ishukone Corporation Factory in Huola two hours earlier, which was still broadcasting Ishukone transponder codes.

A fleet of approximately 30 Caldari-allied capsuleers - including members of the Fourth District, Wiyrkomi Honor Guard, Fleet Coordination Commission, and others - apparently acting on intelligence delivered by the Caldari Navy, were waiting in orbit of the planet and attempted to interdict the Guristas. Light casualties were taken by the loyalist forces, while the Guristas lost several Rattlesnake- and Gila-class ships. However, the Guristas combat forces were able to hold off the loyalists long enough for the Rhea to deploy dropships, which quickly retrieved the groundside combatants and extracted them.

Once the combatants were on board, the Guristas pulled out and rendezvoused with a Guristas allied fleet consisting of pilots from Suddenly Spaceships, Rote Kapelle, True Slave Foundations and others. The Guristas left behind a small screening force, which was destroyed by the Caldari loyalist capsuleers, and made their way toward low security space before jumping the freighter to safety. The remaining Guristas attempted to flee, but were caught by a Pandemic Legion patrol. Though neither side was able to secure a decisive victory, the Guristas and their allies eventually departed the field.

Experts claim the rapid extraction would only be capable of being performed by a highly trained and competent ground force. A capsuleer on location claimed a cargo scan of the freighter revealed numerous mercenaries, weapons, and several clone vats on board.

Caldari Navy sources have refused to comment on the incident, claiming that discussion of it would violate operational security of their continued high alert mobilization. The Guristas have similarly refrained from comment as of yet.