SPECIAL forces should be sent into Nigeria "if necessary" to help the country confront the terrorists who kidnapped and are still holding more than 200 schoolgirls, Gordon Brown has said.

The former Labour prime minister said the international community should also offer air support and surveillance equipment to help find the girls who were abducted by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram in April.

Mr Brown told MPs last night: "While it is right to recognise there has been a great deal of international support, it is also right to acknowledge that in its hour of need Nigeria does require more helicopter support, more aircraft cover, more surveillance equipment."

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He also backed president Goodluck Jonathan's calls for a better co-ordinated system for sharing intelligence.