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: Suicide bomb detonates prematurely in Aden governorate; Yemeni government news agency’s site hacked by southern separatists; fighting between the al Houthis and Salafists in Sa’ada governorate kills at least 35 people; Ministry of Interior reports that 100 al Qaeda-linked militants have been killed in Abyan governorate in the past two days

Horn of Africa: TFG and Ethiopian forces seize two strategic towns in Bay region; AMISOM reportedly deploys 100 Ugandan and Burundian troops to Baidoa in Bay region; unknown gunmen attack Somali journalist in Beledweyne, one attacker killed by government forces; al Shabaab launches raid on TFG base in Beledweyne; Somali and KDF troops clash with al Shabaab in Bardhere in Gedo region; TFG troops to receiving 45 days of training north of Beledweyne

Yemen Security Brief

  • Two people were killed during a suicide attack in Aden, in which the explosive device went off before the bomber had reached his target. The two casualties were the bomber and another man giving him a ride, who Yemeni military officials believe was an innocent civilian not in on the plan. The target of the bombing was apparently an intelligence office in Mansoura, a neighborhood in Aden.[1]
  • The website of SABA News, a government news agency, was hacked by a group calling itself Team V5. The hackers’ message affirmed solidarity with the Southern Movement.[2]
  • Renewed fighting between the al Houthi rebels and Salafists in the north killed at least 35 people over the last few days in Sa’ada governorate. “A total of 30 Shiite rebels and five Sunni fundamentalist were killed over the past two days during sectarian clashes between the rival forces in war-torn district of Kutaf,” said a local councilman.[3]
  • The Yemeni Ministry of Interior reported on April 5 that more than 100 al Qaeda-linked militants have been killed in the past two days in Abyan governorate. This figure has not been independently verified.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Residents and officials reported that Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian troops seized Bur Hakaba and Qadsax Dhere in Bay region from al Shabaab militants. Al Shabaab allegedly withdrew from the cities hours before TFG and Ethiopian troops entered.[5]
  • African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops deployed in the city of Baidoa in Bay region on April 5. AMISOM reportedly sent 100 Ugandan and Burundian soldiers to the area. AMISOM spokesman Paddy Ankunda said, “These 100 soldiers are the advance team for 2,500 AMISOM troops that will be deployed in phases. This team will be stationed alongside Ethiopian troops in Baidoa.” This is the first time AMISOM has dispatched troops outside of Mogadishu.[6]
  • Mahad Salad Aden, a Somali radio journalist, was killed by gunmen outside of his home in Beledweyne in Hiraan region on April 5. He is the fourth journalist to be killed in 2012. Sources from Hiraan’s regional administration reported that the assailants clashed with government forces while fleeing. One attacker was shot and killed.[7]
  • Two government officials were reportedly injured when al Shabaab launched a raid on a TFG base in Beledweyne on April 5.[8]
  • On April 5, Somali and Kenyan troops clashed with al Shabaab militants in Jungal settlement near Bardhere in Gedo region. Somali MP Mohamed Sayyid Aden reported that the allied forces inflicted heavy losses on the militants.[9]
  • Hiraan regional governor Abdifatah Hassan Afrah reported that Somali government forces will soon be receiving 45 days of training at Jante Kundisho camp, located five kilometers north of Beledweyne. Somali and Ethiopian officials will administer the training.[10]    

[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 2 Killed in Botched Suicide Attack,” AP, April 6, 2012. Available:
Fawaz al Haidari, “Suicide Blast Near Yemen Intelligence: Ministry,” AFP, April 6, 2012. Available:
[2] SABA News, April 6, 2012. Available:
[3] “35 Killed in Sectarian Clashes in N. Yemen,” Xinhua, April 6, 2012. Available:
[4] Yemen Ministry of Interior: Upwards of 100 al Qaeda Terrorists Killed in Abyan in Two Days,” Yemeni Ministry of Defense, April 5, 2012. Available:
“Yemen: 100 al-Qaeda Fighters Killed in South,” AP, April 5, 2012. Available:
[5] “Somali Troops, Ethiopian Forces Seize Towns from Al-Shabab,” Shabelle Media Network, April 6, 2012. Available:
[6] “AU Somalia Force in First Deployment Outside Mogadishu,” AFP, April 5, 2012. Available:
“First AMISOM Troops Deployed Outside Mogadishu,” AMISOM, April 5, 2012. Available:
[7] Mohamed Shiil, “Radio Journalist Shot in Somalia, an Attacker Killed,” AHN, April 6, 2012. Available:
[8] “Al-Shabaab Attacks TFG Base in Beledweyne Town,” Bar Kulan, April 6, 2012. Available:
[9] “Deadly Fight Erupts on the Outskirt of Bardera Town,” Bar Kulan, April 6, 2012. Available:
[10] “TFG Soldiers in Beledweyne to Receive Trainings,” Bar Kulan, April 5, 2012. Available:
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