Members of the Shebab Islamist group have stolen $750 000 worth of British government-funded humanitarian materials and supplies in Somalia, it emerged on Sunday.

The theft, revealed in the fine print of the Department for International Development?s annual accounts, is likely to fuel concerns about how Britain is spending its foreign aid at a time of budget cuts at home.

The accounts describe the ?theft between November 2011 and February 2012, by al-Shebab in southern Somalia, of DFID funded humanitarian materials and supplies from the offices and warehouses of partner organisations, to which DFID had provided funding to deliver projects and programmes?.

?DFID?s partners had no prior warning of the confiscations being carried out and therefore had no time to prevent the loss by relocating goods,? the report said.

The loss, out of more than 80 million of aid allocated for Somalia in 2012-2013, appears in this year?s accounts because the investigation was only completed in the past 12 months. (AP)London

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