Uphallant - A civilian shipping convoy was attacked and destroyed in the Uphallant system yesterday when a patrol fleet belonging to Internal Security, Nugoeihuvi's security arm, engaged the unarmed vessels after what Nugoeihuvi is calling a "miscommunication." At least 250 people are confirmed dead, with more than 600 passengers and crew missing.
The civilian convoy, carrying machine parts, medicines, foodstuffs, and a number of passengers, was cleared to jump into Uphallant by Caldari authorities, says the convoy's owner, Greater Placid Transstellar. "This wasn't an accident," said one GPTS captain who survived the attack. "We told Internal Security we were cleared by Caldari customs, but they ordered us to surrender immediately. This was piracy, plain and simple."
The rapid Caldari military advance into Gallente space has spread Caldari Navy forces thin, forcing the Navy to outsource patrol duties in less critical systems to the megacorporate security forces. While the Navy has attempted to avoid interfering with civilian traffic, the additional bureaucracy introduced by going through multiple chains of command and often conflicting rules of engagement has resulted in some "communications difficulties," according to the Navy press office. In this case, says Oraki Hiekilen, a Caldari Customs Authority spokesman, "Internal Security appears to have missed the convoy's customs authorization."
For its part, Internal Security is maintaining its innocence in the matter. "The convoy refused to allow Internal Security forces to board their ships, and as a result we were forced to open fire," said the company in a press release. "However, we are reexamining our policies and assisting with rescue and recovery operations."