BENESHIEK, Nigeria, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The Nigerian military on Monday unveiled a new task force specifically placed in the country's northeastern Borno state to combat terrorist group Boko Haram.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, chief of staff of the Nigerian army, spoke to the special unit, known as 29 Task Force Brigade, at one of its headquarters in the village of Beneshiek. The unit is also deployed in the village of Ngamdu.
"You are better trained and equipped than the criminals and you have to be professional and responsive," Xinhua news agency quoted Burutai as saying. "You should have no excuse not to be on patrol, ambush or raid operations."
Buratai described the location of the brigade as "very important and strategic," saying it would have "great impact toward defeating the Boko Haram group." He promised the troops they would be properly equipped for the task.
Nigeria's armed forces early this month reiterated previous vows made by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected earlier this year on a promise to destroy Boko Haram, pledging in early August to defeat the Sunni Muslim terrorist group by the end of the year.
"We will not rest on our oars until we defeat the terrorists by December," Buratai said late last month.
On Monday, the Vanguard quoted Buratai as telling the task force they had to "maintain the momentum to achieve" the deadline.
"We must eradicate insurgency and make Nigeria peaceful,'' he said.
Since 2009, terrorist group Boko Haram has conducted an insurgency in Nigeria and the surrounding region in a bid to form an Islamic government.
While it has lost most of its strongholds, the group has over the summer been blamed for a series of suicide bombings in crowded markets, mainly in northeastern Nigeria but also in neighboring countries such as Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
A suicide bombing last week at a mosque in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, killed at least 18 people and injured 20 others.
Little more than two weeks earlier, Boko Haram was suspected of carrying out a similar attack in western Chad that killed at least 37 people.