One of the mothers of the missing Chibok school girls wipes her tears as she cries during a rally by civil society groups pressing for the release of the girls in Abuja ahead of World Economic Forum. Picture: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned as “pure evil” on Wednesday the kidnapping in Nigeria of hundreds of schoolgirls by Boko Haram Islamists.

“I'm the father of two young daughters and my reaction is the same as every father or mother in this land or the world,” he told the House of Commons.

“This is an act of pure evil, it has united people across the planet to stand with Nigeria to help find these children and return them to their parents.”

Cameron said Britain had made “repeated offers of help” to the Nigerian government since more than 200 girls were seized on April 14.

“I'll be speaking to the Nigerian president this afternoon and will again say Britain stands ready to provide any assistance immediately we can, working very closely with the US,” the prime minister said.

He added: “This is not just a Nigerian issue, it is a global issue.

“There are extreme Islamists around our world who are against education, against progress, against equality and we must fight them and take them on wherever they are.”

Nigerian police have offered a reward of 50 million naira ($300 000, 215 000 euros) for information leading to the girls' rescue, amid increasing global pressure to act.

US President Barack Obama has sent military experts to Nigeria to help in the search. - AFP