Militants seize, burn aid food

2010-08-20 19:13

Mogadishu - Islamist fighters in Somalia have seized food from the World Food Program and USAID and burned more than 500 bags of maize and wheat.

Sheik Ali Mohamed Hussein, an official with al-Shabaab - Somalia's most powerful militant group - said on Friday that the food was expired.

Photos of the burning showed white bags of wheat bearing an American flag and the stamp USAID - the US government's aid arm.

Other bags were stamped World Food Program.

Some photos showed what appeared to be old, clumpy maize.

Peter Smerdon, a spokesperson for WFP, said he was checking on reports of the food burning and couldn't immediately comment.

He said that WFP does not provide food for distribution that is expired.