Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: Saudi border guards prevent group of women and children from illegally entering Yemen to join AQAP; Yemeni security forces clash with gunmen in Aden governorate; IED injures civilians in Abyan governorate; Yemeni Defense Ministry announces intent to increase military cooperation with Russia

Horn of Africa: AMISOM and SNA forces seize village in Hiraan region from al Shabaab; al Shabaab attacks police station in Hiraan region; al Shabaab militants ambush UN vehicle in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; Somali National Security Forces arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Saudi border guards prevented two Saudi women and six children from illegally entering Yemen through the Saudi province of Jizan on April 18. The women, who were accompanied by three Yemeni men at the time of their detainment, confessed that the six children were kidnapped and that they intended to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).[1]
  • Yemeni security forces purportedly clashed with unidentified gunmen in the town of Crater in Aden governorate on April 22. Reports indicate that one man was killed in the clash, although further details remain unclear.[2]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated and injured at least four people near a restaurant in the city of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate on April 22.[3]
  • Yemeni Defense Minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed met with members of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Ambassador to Yemen in Sana’a on April 23 to discuss prospects for increased military cooperation and training between Russia and Yemen.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces seized Weyn village near Bulo-Burde in Hiraan region from al Shabaab on April 22. The al Shabaab militants withdrew from Weyn after AMISOM and SNA forces launched an offensive on the village, killing at least two militants.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a police station in Beledweyne in Hiraan region on April 23. Somali security forces exchanged gunfire with the militants, ultimately resisting the attack. Neither side has yet reported casualties from the confrontation.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a UN vehicle near Dadaab in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on April 23. A local government official reported that three militants fired upon the vehicle, injuring the driver, before hijacking the vehicle and fleeing across the border into Somalia.[7]
  • The Somali Deputy Minister for National Security, Ibrahim Isak Yaro, announced on April 23 that Somali National Security forces arrested three individuals linked to the April 22 assassination of MP Abdiaz Isak Mursal in Mogadishu. Al Shabaab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage, also known as Ali Dhere, claimed Mursal’s assassination for al Shabaab, stating that the group will continue to target lawmakers in Mogadishu for allowing foreign military intervention in Somalia.[8]

[1] “Attempt to smuggle Saudi women and children into Yemen thwarted,” Gulf News, April 23, 2014. Available:
[2] “One person was killed in clashes in Aden and wounded four improvised explosive device in Abyan,” News Yemen, April 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “One person was killed in clashes in Aden and wounded four improvised explosive device in Abyan,” News Yemen, April 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Yemen expresses its desire to expand the areas of military cooperation with Russia,” News Yemen, April 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Somali government forces seize Eyn village in Hiran region,” Bar Kulan, April 23, 2014. Available:
“Al Shabaab attacks government forces base in Beledweyne,” Bar Kulan, April 23, 2014. Available:
[7] “UN Vehicle hijacked by suspected Somali militants,” Xinhua, April 23, 2014. Available:
[8] “Three arrested in connection with the murder of Somali lawmaker,” Bar Kulan, April 23, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Al Shabab vows to keep killing lawmakers of Somalia,” RBC Radio, April 23, 2014. Available:
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