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: Al Qaeda militants ambush Yemeni security forces in Abyan governorate, kill two soldiers; landmine injures Dhaleh intelligence director

Horn of Africa: Fighting between Hizb al Islam militants, TFG forces kill at least seven in Mogadishu; TFG soldiers clash with al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu; Hizb al Islam official in Harardhere says no tensions between his group and al Shabaab; rebel group in disputed regions splits over aims of senior leadership; clash between Puntland security forces, Islamist rebels kills at least three in Galgala Hills; roadside bomb in Galgala Hills wounds soldier; mortars launched into IDP camp kill three civilians in Mogadishu; French ship intercepts third pirate skiff

Yemen Security Brief

  •  Al Qaeda militants ambushed Yemeni security forces at a souk in Abyan governorate, killing two soldiers and wounding at least one other. Authorities in the region tightened security and are searching for the assailants. Additionally, the defense ministry claimed it captured an alleged senior al Qaeda operative, Anis al Oli, in Abyan governorate.[1] 
  •  A landmine blast injured Dhaleh Intelligence Director Abdul Khaliq Shae’a on Thursday, but no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[2] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief 

  • Seven people died and 10 were wounded in a clash between TFG forces and Hizb al Islam militants in Mogadishu’s Hodan district on Wednesday. Also, a roadside bomb targeting government troops in the city’s Madina district wounded one civilian.[3]  
  • Fighting broke out between TFG forces and al Shabaab militants in Mogadishu’s Hodan district on Wednesday. Government officers claimed victory in the battle, which killed several people and wounded many others.[4]
  • Hizb al Islam’s information secretary in Harardhere refuted reports of disagreements between his group and al Shabaab on Friday. Sheikh Abdinasir Abu Hashim said there were no tensions in the city or Mudug region.[5]
  • The rebel group SSC (Sool, Sanaag and Cayn) has split due to a rift between many of its members and senior leadership, according to commander and former Puntland governor of Buhoodle region Kayse Abdi Yusuf. He accused the leadership of being power-hungry and simply fighting Somaliland to create its own regional authority, and said he has formed his own group, Badbaado, to fight for the reunification of Somalia. “We are rebels and rebels have no right forming their own authorities. States require income taxes and this goes against all we stood for. It will destroy our prime objective, so I call on the executive leadership to reverse their decisions,” he said. Yusuf’s main grievances lay with group leaders Suleiman Essa Ahmed and Mohamed Hassan Burale.[6]
  • A clash between Puntland security forces and Islamist rebels led by Mohamed Said Atom killed at least three people and wounded another six Thursday in the Galgala Hills. The fighting began when Atom’s forces ambush a Puntland military base there.[7]
  • A roadside bomb killed one and wounded several others in Puntland on Thursday near the Galgala Hills. The bomb targeted a convoy carrying reinforcements for security forces.[8]
  • An unidentified party launched mortars into a displaced persons camp in Mogadishu’s Hodan district on Thursday, killing three civilians and wounding seven others.[9]
  • The FS De Grasse intercepted a third pirate skiff in as many days, capturing the boat in the Gulf of Aden and sending its six-man crew back to Somalia with only the means to return.[10]

[1] “Al-Qaeda kills two soldiers in Yemen,” Yemen News Agency (SABA), August 20, 2010. Available:
“Forces Clash with Suspected Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Abyan,” Yemen Post, August 19, 2010. Available:
[2] “Officers Easy Target in South Yemen,” Yemen Post, August 19, 2010. Available:
[3] “Somalia: 7 people killed as govt troops clash with Hizbul Islam insurgents,” Garowe, August 19, 2010. Available:
[4] “Somalia: Heavy Fighting Breaks Out in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, August 18, 2010. Available:
[5] “Spokesman: ‘There is no fighting between Al-Shabab, Hizbul Islam,’” Mareeg, August 19, 2010. Available:
[6] “Somaliland: SSC commander reveals split in his group,” Somaliland Press, August 20, 2010. Available:
[7] “Fresh clash restart, killing 3 in Puntland,” Mareeg, August 19, 2010. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Roadside bomb kills one in Puntland,” Somaliland Press, August 20, 2010. Available:
[9] “Mortars kill 3 civilians, injure 7 others in Somali capital,” Mareeg, August 19, 2010. Available:
[10] “Somalia: Third Disruption in Three Days for New Eunavfor French Flag Ship De Grasse,” European Naval Force Somalia, August 18, 2010. Available:
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