Exclusive: Al-Shabaab Halts Reconstruction of Airport in Somalia Where Regional President Would Land

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab has halted the reconstruction of an airport in Baladwayne where Hirshabelle regional President would land after armed clan militias refused him to land at the city’s main airport.

Days after Hirshabelle President Ali Gudlawe, who was elected to office on November, ordered the reconstruction of an airstrip in the west of Baladwayne, Al-Shabaab armed group sent messages to engineers and staff engaged in the renovation work.

Sources within Hirshabelle administration have told Somaliguardian on Monday that Al-Shabaab ordered the engineers and other crew members involved in the reconstruction of the airport to immediately discontinue working on the project.

The group’s orders brought an end to the renovation of the airport, which is vital for a visit Ali Gudlawe aims to pay to the town, whose residents staged protests against him immediately after his election.

Al-Shabaab had earlier halted the construction of Hirshabelle presidential palace, the region’s Ministry of Finance headquarters and other compounds for a number of institutions.

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