Wednesday, September 23, 1998 Published at 22:26 GMT 23:26 UK
'Shoot to kill' in Lesotho
South African reinforcements - will stay until situation resolved
Speaking from Pretoria, the commanders said South African soldiers would now operate a shoot-to-kill policy to suppress continuing violent protests.
South African President Nelson Mandela on Wednesday publicly endorsed the military intervention in Lesotho, saying it had been essential to end "chaos and anarchy".
The intervention began on Tuesday after weeks of unrest caused by allegations of fraud during general elections in May.
"I am satisfied that they have handled it very well," Mr Mandela said.
However, the operation met unexpectedly heavy-armed opposition and at least nine South African troops were killed. According to Mr Mandela, 58 members of the Lesotho armed forces also died.
Meanwhile, King Letsie of Lesotho is reported to have called for talks with the South African Government and opposition about the intervention.
Acting President, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, told the BBC that South African soldiers would stay until the situation was peacefully resolved.
He said: "We regard this as a very serious attempt to try and normalise the situation at the request of the legitimate government of Lesotho."
Meanwhile, Britain is trying to organise a military convoy to evacuate British nationals from Lesotho to South Africa.
The South African news agency reported that some 600 supporters of the beleaguered Lesotho ruling party had fled into South Africa to escape attacks by the opposition.
Lesotho's opposition has warned that there is no short-term military solution to the crisis.
Lesotho has experienced seven weeks of anti-government protests, some of them violent, after the disputed election. The opposition complained that May's general election, which gave the ruling Congress for Democracy 79 out of 80 seats, was rigged.
Earlier in September, 15 senior officers fled Lesotho for South Africa. They had been arrested by junior ranks and forced to resign in a disagreement over military intervention to end six weeks of unrest in the capital.