UK & World News
Nigeria Kidnap: PM's Anger Over 'Ghastly' Act
Prime Minister David Cameron has described the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Islamist extremists in Nigeria as "ghastly" and "an act of pure evil".
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Cameron confirmed a British team had arrived in Nigeria, more than three weeks after Boko Haram abducted the youngsters from a boarding school in the village of Chibok in the northern Borno state.
"This is a ghastly situation and an act of pure evil," Mr Cameron said.
His comments came as Amnesty International claimed Nigeria's military may have had prior warning about the attack on the school, but failed to act.
Amnesty said it had verified reports from several credible sources who said that security forces knew about the raid four hours before it took place.
It said: "An inability to muster troops - due to poor resources and a reported fear of engaging with the often better-equipped armed groups - meant that reinforcements were not deployed."
The Nigerian authorities have not yet responded to Amnesty's claims.
More than 300 girls were initially seized from the school by Boko Haram militants on April 14. An estimated 53 girls managed to escape, but 276 are still missing.
A further 11 girls, aged 12 to 15, were abducted from the northeastern village of Warabe earlier this week.
The leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, has threatened to sell the girls "on the market" and some of the group have already reportedly been trafficked to neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.
However, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said he believes the girls are still in Nigeria.
The UK team, which touched down in the capital Abuja on Friday, has been sent to "advise and support" the rescue operation in the coming days.
In a statement the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said Britain's aim was not only to help find the girls but to eradicate Boko Haram, whose five-year insurgency has left at least 1,500 people dead in 2014 alone.
It said: "The team will be considering not just the recent incidents but also the longer-term counter-terrorism solutions to prevent such attacks in the future and defeat Boko Haram."
Mr Cameron said the team "complements the one sent by the United States and includes experts in counter-terrorism, policing and counter-insurgency, as well as aid and education."
The US is sending military and intelligence experts, who US Secretary of State John Kerry said would do "everything they can to return these girls to their families and their communities".
Nigeria's government has faced criticism, both domestically and abroad, for being too slow to respond to the abduction.
Speaking to Sky News' Special Correspondent Alex Crawford, Shettima Haruma, whose daughter was among those taken, said he was "angry" with the Nigerian government's response.
"We beg Nigerians, those in another country like America or (Britain) ... it's three weeks, nearly one month ... (and we haven't) seen any letters from our daughters," he said.
The search for the missing schoolgirls is focused around the huge Sambisa Forest - the "hideout" of Boko Haram, whose name is said to figuratively mean "Western education is forbidden".