LONDON (AP) — Al-Qaida linked militants in Somalia seized 480,000 pounds ($744,400) of U.K.-funded humanitarian aid supplies, the British government said Sunday.
The supplies were seized between November 2011 and February 2012, when al-Shabaab militants raided warehouses and offices of organizations partnered with the U.K.’s Department for International Development, which spent 102.9 million pounds in Somalia that year.
While the incidents occurred between 2011 and 2012, the write-off was listed in the agency’s annual report for 2012 and 2013 — once an investigation into the theft was completed.
The report said the agency’s partners did not have any prior warning of the attacks and did not have time to move the supplies. The Department for International Development is working with partner organizations to ensure such risks are identified, the report added.
The agency stressed on Sunday that working in some of the most dangerous countries in the world carries “inherent risk.” It also said in a statement that it “does all it can to mitigate against this but, on occasion, losses will occur” and that when theft is suspected it will investigate and act quickly.