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Africans Are Rallying Against Boko Haram -- but Can They Beat the Jihadist Assault?

This file image taken from video released late Friday evening, Oct. 31, 2014, shows Boko Haram fighters in northeastern Nigeria.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (TheBlaze/AP) — An African Union official says African leaders have agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Will it be enough?

A masked Boko Haram militant (Screenshot: YouTube) A masked Boko Haram militant (Screenshot: YouTube)

The head of the African Union's Peace and Security Council, Samil Chergui, said Saturday the move came after the council urged heads of state to endorse the deployment of troops from five West African countries to fight the terror group.

African leaders who are members of the 54-nation African Union are meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a two-day summit that ends Saturday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon earlier said he support the AU's move to send a force to fight Boko Haram. Boko Haram is increasing its attacks as Nigeria prepares for Feb. 14 elections. Thousands have been killed in the 5-year insurgency.

Amnesty International estimates that Boko Haram commands at least 15,000 fighters — and likely many more than that — and the group has been described as the next Islamic State.

Whether 7,500 AU soldiers can blunt the jihadist assault remains to be seen.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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