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: Roadside bomb kills two soldiers in Abyan; mutinous troops to be sent to military tribunal; al Houthis arrest five local traders in Sa’ada governorate

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks AMISOM bases in Hudur; al Shabaab releases eleven communiqués describing multiple attacks; TFG and Ras Kamboni forces arrest seven suspects in Afmadow; shelling in Kismayo; KDF ambushes militants on Somali border

Yemen Security Brief

  • A Yemeni military vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Shaqra, a coastal city in Abyan governorate, late on August 15. At least two Yemeni soldiers were killed in the blast, according to a local government official.[1]
  • Sixty-two Yemeni officers and soldiers will be referred to a military tribunal for participating in the August 14 attack on the Ministry of Defense, according to General Ali Saeed Obaid. Yemen’s Military Affairs Committee, established as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered transition deal, announced that the refusal to accept presidential decrees is considered an act of treason on August 15. The committee commended the actions of the Military Police, 314th Armored Brigade, and the Central Security Forces for responding to the attack on the Ministry of Defense on August 14.[2]
  • Yemen Post reported that al Houthis in Saqain district in Sa’ada governorate arrested five merchants, who had refused to pay al Houthi-imposed taxes, on August 13.[3]  

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) bases in eastern Hudur town in Bakool region on the night of August 15. Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and Ethiopian troops held off the attack and have announced victory. The TFG claimed that there were four al Shabaab deaths and several wounded in the fighting and that AMISOM and TFG forces suffered no casualties.[4]
  • Al Shabaab released eleven communiqués on jihadist forums between August 11 and 14 detailing over 40 engagements between August 2 and August 12. The reported attacks include a five-hour battle in the city of Hudur in Bakool region that resulted in the deaths of over 60 Ethiopian soldiers on August 6. The communiqués also describe several improvised explosive device (IED) and grenade attacks in Mogadishu city and Lower Jubba region against TFG and AMISOM forces and the surrender of four Somali soldiers in Baidoa in Bakool region on August 12.[5]
  • TFG forces partnered with the Ras Kamboni brigade arrested seven suspected al Shabaab militants in possession of several illegal weapons in the town of Afmadow in Lower Jubba on August 16. One of those arrested confessed to being part of a 40-member gang in Afmadow and Dhobley towns.[6]
  • At least ten mortars fell on the port city of Kismayo in Lower Jubba early on August 15 according to local reports. No one has claimed credit for the shelling, which reportedly wounded one civilian.[7]
  • Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) partnering with local Kenyan police ambushed seven suspected al Shabaab fighters in Lamu County, Kenya near the Somali border, killing three on August 14. Kenyan forces recovered three AK-47s and 60 bullets from the militants. The KDF has stepped up patrols along the border to prevent al Shabaab from reaching Lamu County.[8]      

[1] “Roadside Bomb Hits Yemeni Patrol,” Xinhua, August 16, 2012. Available:
[2] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen: 62 Troops to be Tried Over Ministry Attack,” AP, August 16, 2012. Available:
“Military Affairs Committee Met Today on Events in Front of Ministry of Defense Compound,” SABA News Agency, August 15, 2012. Available:
“Yemen: Refusing Presidential Decisions, Orders ‘High Treason,’” Yemen Post, August 15, 2012. Available:
[3] “Houthi Group Arrests Five Dealers,” Yemen Post, August 16, 2012. Available:
[4] “Heavily fighting reported in Hudur, Bakol region,” Bar Kulan, August 16, 2012. Available:
“TFG claims killing militants in Hudur, Bakol region,” Bar Kulan, August 16, 2012. Available:
[5] “Shabaab Claims Killing 60 Ethiopians in Clash, Reports Over 40 Attacks,” Site Intelligence Group, August 15, 2012. Available at SITE.
[6] “7 Al-Shabaab suspects arrested in Afmadow,” Bar Kulan, August 16, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Artillery Fire, Mortar Shells Rain Down On Port City of Kismayo,” Shabelle Media Network, August 15, 2012. Available:
[8] “3 Al-Shabaab suspects killed in Kenya's coastal region,” Xinhua Net, August 15, 2012. Available:
Mathias Ringa and Zahra Rashid, “3 Shabaab militia shot dead near Somali border,” Daily Nation, August 15, 2012. Available:
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