TROOPS of Sector 1 of Operation Hadarin Daji have killed no fewer than 35 bandits at the Maje river line, near Yar Katsina in the Bungudu Local Government Area and Janbako village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State.

One Special Forces operative, however, died, while 24 cows and unspecified number of sheep were recovered.

This was achieved when the troops from Forward Operating Bases at Kekuwuje, Kwatarkwashi and Maru, comprised mostly of Nigerian Air Force and Special Forces personnel, were mobilised in response to reports that scores of hoodlums along with a large number of rustled livestock, were spotted heading towards Kekuwuje-Yar Kastina road on Saturday.

According to a statement on Monday by the NAF spokesman, Air Vice Marshal, Ibikunle Daramola, the troops made contact with the bandits along the Yar Katsina road and overpowered them with superior firepower in the ensuing gun battle.

“The troops subsequently pursued the bandits and cornered them at the Maje river line, neutralising 30 of them.

“Unfortunately, one NAF SF officer, Aircraftman Sunday Enwa, who fought gallantly during the encounter, paid the supreme price while three others, who sustained gunshot wounds during the operation, have been evacuated for medical treatment,” the statement read.

 The statement was titled, ‘NAF loses SF operative in gun duel as troops of Sector 1 of Operation Hadarin Daji neutralise 30 bandits at Maje river line in Zamfara State.’

In another development, troops deployed at Maradun received information of reprisal by bandits at Janbako village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State.

A statement by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, on Monday indicated that the troops swiftly mobilised to the area to forestall the reprisal, but were ambushed, resulting in a fire fight, where five bandits were eliminated.