Page last updated at 10:33 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 11:33 UK

Al-Shabab militants raid UN base in Somalia

Islamist fighters train in Mogadishu, 26 September 2006
Islamist fighters control much of southern Somalia

A hardline Islamist Somali militant group has taken over a United Nations compound in the south of the country.

The fighters from the al-Shabab group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, disarmed guards at the base in Wajid near Baidoa, a BBC reporter says.

However, the World Food Programme insists that the base was empty and the move would not affect its operations.

In February al-Shabab ordered the WFP to leave the country, saying Somalis should buy food from local farmers.

Aid agencies say that up to half the population needs food aid.

Al-Shabab controls much of southern Somalia, while the UN-backed government is only in charge of a small part of the capital, Mogadishu.

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