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: suspected AQAP militants attack Yemeni security checkpoint in Hadramawt governorate

Horn of Africa: VBIED detonates near police station in Nairobi; SNA forces raid an al Shabaab base in Bakool region; AMISOM and SNA forces clash with al Shabaab militants in Bay region; UN announces plan for implementation of non-lethal support structure for SNA

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants killed two Yemeni soldiers at a security checkpoint in Shibam in Hadramawt governorate on April 24. Reports indicate that the militants fired at least two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) at the checkpoint.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated outside a police station in the Pangani district of Nairobi, near the city’s Eastleigh neighborhood, on April 23. Reports indicate that the explosion occurred after Kenyan police intercepted a suspicious car and were transporting the vehicle and its occupants to the Pagani police station for questioning. The blast killed the two police officers and the two occupants travelling in the vehicle at the time. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Kenyan authorities traditionally blame al Shabaab’s influence in Kenya for such violence.[2]
  • Somali National Army (SNA) forces conducted a raid operation on an al Shabaab base in the Moora Gaabeey locality near Hudur in Bakool region on April 23. The SNA forces killed a senior al Shabaab official, Abdullahi Abukar Ali, and wounded another al Shabaab militant, Ahmed Mohamed Qeyr, during the operation. Hudur Mayor Mohamed Moallim reported that the raid achieved its objective and SNA forces intend to conduct similar operations in the near future.[3]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed an AMISOM and SNA convoy near Awdinle in Bay region on April 23. The ambush sparked a prolonged clash between the two sides, resulting in an unspecified number of casualties. A Somali military official reported that the AMISOM and SNA forces repelled the al Shabaab attack, confiscating weapons and securing a nearby military base. Separately, Ethiopian AMISOM and SNA forces launched an attack on al Shabaab militants operating in the Qansadere district of Bay region on April 23. The Ethiopian forces fired mortar shells targeting locations reportedly inhabited by senior al Shabaab officials. Casualty figures associated with the mortar fire remains unclear.[4]
  • The UN announced on April 23 a plan for the implementation of a non-lethal support structure for the SNA. The group would provide logistical support to approximately 10, 500 SNA soldiers and cooperate with AMISOM in an effort to better respond to humanitarian and security challenges throughout Somalia.  Furthermore, UN Special Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to Somalia despite reports that recent violence in Mogadishu threatens the international community’s presence in the country, stating “the UN has no intention to withdrawal.”[5]

[1] “Gunmen raid checkpoint in Yemen, 2 policemen killed,” Shanghai Daily, April 24, 2014. Available:
[2] Humphrey Malalo, “Car bomb kills four in Kenyan capital,” Reuters, April 23, 2014. Available:
[3] “Somalia: Night raid operation targets senior al Shabaab officials,” Garowe Online, April 23, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Senior Al-Shabaab Officials Attacked in Hudur,” Dalsan Radio, April 23, 2014. Available:
[4] “Al-Shabaab suffer significant losses due to battle with AMISOM, gov’t forces last night in Bay region,” Shabelle News, April 24, 2014. Available:
[5] “UN to support Somali National Army to pursue Al-Shabaab,” Anadolu Agency, April 24, 2014. Available:
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