Gulf of Aden Security Review - May 8, 2013

Yemen: Suspected AQAP militants kill three Air Force pilots in al Hawta district, Lahij governorate; security forces arrest two Omani AQAP militants in Hadramawt governorate; two Red Cross doctors are abducted and released in Ja’ar, Abyan governorate; military police clash with Third Mountain Infantry Brigade in Ma’rib, Ma’rib governorate; state of emergency is declared in Ma’rib governorate by Third Military District command; gunmen attack power lines in Nihm, Sana’a governorate; Yemenis protest against Israeli airstrikes in Syria in Sana’a and Ibb governorates; President Hadi reportedly threatens Ali Abdullah Saleh with investigation

Horn of Africa: Senior al Shabaab official claims al Shabaab militants killed American-born jihadist Omar Hammami; al Shabaab attacks Ras Kamboni bases in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; al Shabaab militants attack Somali troops in Garbaharey, Gedo region; al Shabaab grenade attack targets neighborhood commissioner in Baidoa, Bay region; Somali government receives international assistance at Somali conference in London, England; Somali parliament discusses national security in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants shot and killed three Yemeni Air Force pilots on their way to al Anad air base in al Hawta district, Lahij governorate on May 8.[1]
  • Security forces arrested two Omani AQAP militants in Hadramawt governorate on May 7. The two militants are reportedly wanted by INTERPOL.[2]
  • Two doctors working for the International Committee of the Red Cross were kidnapped by tribal militants in Ja’ar, Abyan governorate on May 8. Security forces secured their release several hours later.[3]
  • Violent clashes broke out between military police officers and soldiers from the Third Mountain Infantry Brigade in Ma’rib, Ma’rib governorate on May 7. Five people were killed during the fighting. In response, the commander of the Third Military District declared a state of emergency and heightened the readiness of the troops stationed in Ma’rib. Tribesmen from Wadi Ma’rib reportedly flocked to the city in support of the military police’s commander, whose son was injured in clashes on May 6.[4]
  • Gunmen attacked the Ma’rib-Sana’a power lines in Nihm, Sana’a governorate on May 8, knocking the Ma’rib Power Station out of service.[5]
  • Hundreds of Yemenis protested in Sana’a and Ibb governorates on May 7, denouncing the recent airstrikes in Syria attributed to Israel.[6]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reportedly threatened to open an investigation into former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s role in the March 2011 “Friday of Dignity” massacre of protesters unless he resigns as head of the General People’s Congress (GPC).[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Senior al Shabaab official Fuad Mohamed Shangole announced that American-born jihadist Omar Hammami was reportedly killed in Ramcaday, Bay region. Shangole said that forces loyal to al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeir “Godane” ambushed and killed Hammami. Several al Shabaab militants were killed in fighting that erupted after Hammami’s reported assassination.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Ras Kamboni military positions near Via Afmadow in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on May 7. The battle lasted for hours and both sides used heavy artillery. Dozens are reportedly injured, but exact casualty numbers have not been released.[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked Somali troops in Garbaharey, Gedo region on May 7. The casualty count is unknown.[10]
  • A recently defected al Shabaab militant threw a grenade at the home of a Baidoa, Bay region neighborhood commissioner on May 8. The commissioner and one other civilian were injured in the explosion. The attacker was shot and killed on site.[11]
  • The Somali government received international praise and monetary assistance during the Somali conference in London on May 7. Great Britain pledged to give the Somali government around $279 million, and the U.S. government pledged to give an additional $40 million to the country. The government in the breakaway state of Somaliland, which refused to attend the conference, welcomed its outcome.[12]
  • The Somali parliament met in Mogadishu on May 7 to discuss the country’s security situation.[13]    

[1] “Three military pilots killed in Yemen ambush: officials,” Reuters, May 8, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/08/us-yemen-violence-idUSBRE9470DE20130508
“Three Yemeni pilots holding the rank of ‘Colonel’ assassinated by gunmen in Lahij,” Al Masdar Online, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/45314
[2] “Two AQAP militants carrying Omani citizenship apprehended in Hadramawt,” Barakish, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=49832
[3] “Urgent: Two doctors from the International Red Cross organization abducted in Ja’ar, Abyan,” Barakish, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=49840
“Two doctors working for the Red Cross released hours after their abduction in Abyan,” Barakish, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=11&id=49849
[4] “Ma’rib: Tension prevails in the governorate…tribesmen flock after clashes between the Third Brigade and military police,” Mareb Press, May 7, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=55264&lng=arabic
[5] “Ma’rib Power Station out of service after attack on power lines in Nihm,” Mareb Press, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://marebpress.net/news_details.php?sid=55278&lng=arabic
[6] “Yemeni protesters condemn Israeli airstrike in Syria,” Yemen Post, May 7, 2013. Available: http://yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=6853&MainCat=3
[7] “Source: Hadi gives Saleh the choice of resigning the presidency of the GPC or opening the file of the ‘Friday of Dignity,’” Al Masdar Online, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://almasdaronline.com/article/45311
[8] “US Most Wanted Terrorist Killed in Somalia,” Bar Kulan, May 8, 2013. Available: http://somaliamediamonitoring.org/may-8-2013-daily-monitoring-report/
[9] “Fighting in Gedo and Lower Juba Region,” Shabelle, May 8, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/fighting-in-gedo-and-lower-juba-region/
[10] “Fighting in Gedo and Lower Juba Region,” Shabelle, May 8, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/fighting-in-gedo-and-lower-juba-region/
[11] “Hand Grenade Injures Neighborhood Commissioner in Baidoa,” Bar Kulan, May 8, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/05/08/hand-grenade-injures-district-commissioner-in-baidoa/
[12] “Somalia Wins Cash, Military Aid at London Door Summit,” Reuters, May 7, 2013. Available: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/07/uk-britain-somalia-conference-idUKBRE9460VT20130507
“The International Somalia Conference Final Communiqué,” British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, May 7, 2013. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/somalia-conference-2013-communique
“Somaliland, Ahlu Sunna Welcome London Conference Communiqué,” Bar Kulan, May 8, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/05/08/somaliland-welcomes-london-conference-communique/
[13] “Parliamentarians Hold a Meeting to Discuss Security in the City,” Shabelle, May 7, 2013. Available: http://shabelle.net/parliamentarians-hold-a-meeting-to-discuss-security-in-the-city/