Gulf of Aden Security Review - November 4, 2013

Yemen: Al Houthis shell Damaj, Sa’ada; Yemeni security officer survives assassination attempt; gunman kills Yemeni Socialist Party official in Amran; gunmen blow up pipeline in Shabwah; security officials say assassinations have declined in past weeks

Horn of Africa: Somali forces kill thirty al Shabaab in Kolbio, Lower Jubba region; Somali police arrest al Shabaab suspects in Beledweyne, Hiraan region; British search for al Shabaab-linked man in London; Somali and Jubbaland officials meet in Mogadishu; four suspects appear in Kenya court over terrorism charges

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Houthis shelled Damaj, Sa’ada governorate on November 3 in violation of a truce brokered on by the Presidential Committee for the Damaj Crisis which went into effect on November 2. Salafist spokesman Serour al Wadei said that at least 100 people have died in the ongoing clashes which began on October 30. Al Houthis also prevented the Red Cross from entering the city to provide aid. The Artillery Battalion from the 9th Brigade reportedly fought against the al Houthis in Damaj. The brigade is one of the brigades formerly commanded by Major General Ali Mohsen in the north west. Jamal Benomar announced a new ceasefire early on November 4. The Red Cross entered the city and evacuated approximately two dozen critically injured people.[1]
  • A Yemeni security officer was injured by a car bomb in Khormaksar, Aden governorate on November 3. Government officials suspected AQAP involvement in the assassination attempt, but the group has not claimed responsibility.[2]
  • A gunman shot and killed Shaker al Faqih, a leader of the Amran branch of the Yemeni Socialist Party on November 3. The killer fled and surrendered himself to al Houthis, who turned him over to the victim’s family and denied any connection to the killing.[3]
  • Witnesses reported an explosion of the oil pipeline in Sa’eed, Shabwah governorate on November 4. However, the Yemeni spokesman in Washington, DC, Mohammad Albasha, denied that an attack occurred. He said witnesses misattributed “thick fog” to smoke from an explosion.[4]
  • The government news agency Saba confirmed that the Ma’rib gas station went out of service after militants attacked power lines in Shabwan, Ma’rib governorate on November 4.[5]
  • Yemeni security officials credit a new security initiative with a decrease in bombings and assassinations over the past few weeks. Security forces also seized 500 weapons including machine guns and pistols.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Eighty Somali National Army soldiers reportedly killed thirty al Shabaab militants during a raid outside Kolbio town, Lower Jubba region, Somalia on November 2.[7]
  • Somali police forces arrested 16 suspected al Shabaab members in Beledweyne, Hiraan region, Somalia on November 3.[8]
  • British police initiated operations to locate missing al Shabaab-linked Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed on November 4. Mohamed violated a British court order that restricted his movements in London on November 1.[9]
  • Somali and Jubbaland officials began the Jubbaland Reconciliation Conference in Mogadishu on November 3.[10]
  • Four men accused of aiding al Shabaab militants during the siege of Nairobi’s Westgate Mall appeared in Kenyan courts on November 4.[11] 


[1] “A Truce at Last in Sa’ada! Growing Fears of it Becoming Short,” Yemen Post, November 2, 2013. Available: http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=100&SubID=7329&MainCat=3
“Overnight Shelling Takes Death Toll in North Yemen to 100, Say Salafists,” Reuters, November 4, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/04/us-yemen-violence-idUSBRE9A30D520131104
“Brigade Belonging to Major General Ali Mohsen Participates in Defense of Damaj,” al Watan Ye, November 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.alwatanye.net/76239.htm
“Shi’ite, Sunni Fighters in Yemen Agree to Ceasefire After 100 Killed,” Reuters, November 4, 2013. Available: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/04/yemen-violence-idUSL5N0IP1TT20131104
“Yemen: Salafist-Houthi Ceasefire Breaks Down,” al Sharq al Awsat, November 3, 2013. Available: http://www.aawsat.net/2013/11/article55321301
[2] “Car Bomb Injures Security Officer in Aden,” Yemen Post, November 3, 2013. Available: http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=100&SubID=7330&MainCat=3
[3] “Assassination of Socialist Leader by Gunshots in Qafla ‘Adhar, Amran,” Barakish, November 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.barakish.net/news.aspx?cat=12&sub=23&id=58328
[4] “Gunmen Blow Up Pipeline in Sa’eed, Shabwah,” Hshd, November 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.hshd.net/news25142.html
“Albasha, Mohammad (Yemen411), “Official: Eyewitnesses mistakenly thought the thick fog in Saeed Shabwa was smoke emanating from an explosion; pipeline wasn't bombed,” 4 Nov 2013, 6:47 a.m. Tweet. Available:  https://twitter.com/Yemen411/status/397374612063145984
[5] “Ma’rib Gas Station Out of Service After New Sabotage Attack in al Shabwan.” Saba, November 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.sabanews.net/ar/news329715.htm
[6] “Fall of Assassination and Bombing Incidents Since Beginning of Security Campaign in Yemen,” al Khabar Now, November 4, 2013 [Arabic]. Available: http://www.alkhabarnow.net/news/80598/2013/11/04/
[7] “Somali army attacks al-Shabab base,” al Jazeera, November 2, 2013. Available: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/11/somali-army-attacks-al-shabab-base-2013112113725724262.html?
[8] “Somali forces arrest 16 people in security crackdown in Beledweyne,” November 3, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/11/03/somali-forces-arrest-16-people-in-security-crackdown-in-beledweyn/
[9] “Police hunt missing terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed,” BBC, November 4, 2013. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24799675
[10] “Jubbaland Reconciliation Conference kicks off in Mogadishu,” Garowe, November 3, 2013. Available: http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Jubaland_Reconciliation_Conference_kicks_off_in_Mogadishu.shtml
[11] “Four men stand trial in connection with Westgate terror attack,” Bar Kulan, November 4, 2013. Available: http://www.bar-kulan.com/2013/11/04/four-men-stand-trial-in-connection-with-westgate-terror-attack/