The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has disclosed that no fewer than 30 armed bandits were killed during clashes with its personnel in Bungudu Local Government, Zamfara State.
It also disclosed that one airforce officer died and three others sustained varying degrees of injuries during clashes with bandits at the Maje Riverline near Yar Katsina axis of the state.
The law enforcement agency identified the deceased officer as Aircraftman Sunday Enwa, who was deployed to sector 1 under Operation Hadarin Daji, set up to address banditry within the region.
As gathered, the troops from the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) at Kekuwuje, Kwatarkwashi, and Maru, comprised mostly of NAF Special Forces (SF) personnel, were mobilized in response to reports that scores of armed bandits, along with a large number of rustled livestock, were spotted heading towards Kekuwuje-Yar Kastina Road.
Confirming the clash on Monday, Director of Public Relations and Information for NAF, Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, explained that the troops made contact with the armed bandits along the Yar Katsina Road and overpowered them with superior firepower in the ensuing gun battle.
According to him, the troops subsequently pursued the bandits and cornered them at the Maje Riverline, neutralizing 30 of them but lost one of the officers, who fought gallantly during the encounter, paid the supreme price while 3 others, who sustained gunshot wounds during the operation, have been evacuated for medical treatment.
He said: “The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf all officers, airmen, airwomen, and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the family of the fallen hero and prays that the Almighty God grants his soul peaceful repose. The CAS also urges all NAF personnel to remain resolute and continue to work assiduously, in synergy with sister Services and other security agencies, to rid the Northwest of all criminal elements”.