Nigerian army
President Muhammadu Buhari says new task force is likely to defeat terrorists by December. Getty Images

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said a new task force involved in the fight against terror group Boko Haram will defeat the insurgents by December.

The leader made the comment as he was visiting Benin, one of the countries involved in the offensive. Buhari previously visited Niger, Chad and Cameroon to strengthen the antiterrorism cooperation.

The five countries were already involved in a regional offensive against the terrorists which scored some goals since it was created in February. However, the Nigerian army announced that a new task force, expected to be more efficient, is ready to take over the fight.

The task force comprises some 8,700 soldiers from the five African nations and is headed by Major General Iliya Abbah, who previously conducted military operations in the Niger Delta.

Benin's President Thomas Boni Yayi announced the country would send 800 troops to join the new force and "permanently combat these outlaws", AFP reported. The announcement follows Cameroon's decision to send some 2,000 military reinforcements to the north of the country, near the border with Nigeria, to help fight the terrorists.

The Nigerian army recently freed some 178 people held captive by the terrorists, renowned for kidnapping civilians – mainly women and children – and forcing them to participate in terror attacks.