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: Twin suicide bombings in Abyan kill at least 11 people; fighting kills four militants in Abyan; armed men attack Republican Guard base north of Sana’a; head of Yemeni Shura Council dies from wounds; government says 80 al Qaeda operatives killed in Abyan

Horn of Africa: Deployment of AMISOM troops expected in October; government forces clear Dhobley; al Shabaab and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fight along Hiraan-Galgudud border; al Shabaab loots aid trucks; heavy fighting occurs in Gedo region; TFG spokesman announces new government plan; Mogadishu mayor says government will open up closed sites in the capital

Yemen Security Brief

  • A suicide bomber drove an explosive-rigged car into a checkpoint manned by pro-government tribesmen on August 21 in al Arqub in Abyan. At least eight tribesmen were killed and twenty others injured. A second suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a group of tribesmen in Mudia in Abyan, killing at least three people. Officials have blamed al Qaeda-linked militants for the attacks.[1]
  • Security sources report that the 111th infantry brigade fought with militants, who were driving from Zinjibar toward Lawder, in al Arqub. Four militants were killed in the fighting.[2]
  • Armed men attacked a Republican Guard military camp located about 20 km outside of the capital. Six of the men were killed, according to the ruling party’s website.[3]
  • Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani, the speaker of the Shura Council, died from injuries sustained in the June 3 attack on the presidential mosque.[4]
  • Ali al Ansi, the head of Yemen’s National Security Agency, reported that eighty al Qaeda operatives have been killed and identified during the military’s offensive in Abyan.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Defense Minister Hussein Arab Isse reported that 3,000 additional peacekeepers will deploy to Mogadishu in October, composed of troops from Djibouti and Sierra Leone. The African Union (AU) held a technical workshop on the AU Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to identify the next steps in Somalia.[6]
  • TFG forces, in conjunction with Ras Kamboni fighters, conducted operations in Dhobley in Lower Jubba region to improve the security situation. A TFG military official, Mohamed Farah Dahir, announced that the government forces were preparing for an offensive against al Shabaab in the Lower and Middle Jubba regions.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants and Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fighters clashed near Mahas village along the border between Hiraan and Galgudud regions. At least seven people were killed. An Ahlu Sunna official in Galgudud, Ahmed Ali, said, “Heavy fighting occurred and heavy shelling [was] exchanged. Our forces launched several attacks on insurgent bases in Hiran region and will continue until we evict them from Hiran and Galgudud regions.”[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants looted at least eight trucks carrying food aid in Elasha Biyaha, about 18 km south of Mogadishu.[9]
  • Heavy fighting occurred between al Shabaab and TFG forces in Busar village, near Elwaq district, in Gedo region. Thirty people were killed, according to reports, and both sides claimed victory.[10]
  • TFG spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman announced that the government would soon release a plan to increase security in Mogadishu. He said, “The government of Somalia has completed the initial draft of our national and security stabilization plan. It is a document that will help us bring peace and stability not only in Somalia, but [also] to the Horn of Africa. The document is holistic in terms of dealing with the multi-faceted nature of security issues, which includes community participation [and] engaging with the people.”[11]
  • The mayor of Mogadishu, Mohamed Ahmed Nur Tarsan, announced that the government would reopen buildings that had been shut down in the Banadir region. He also denied reports that food aid has been looted. He said, “I reject reports that food aid is looted… food aid is distributed by government forces to assist the famine victims.”[12]

[1] “Officials Say 2 Suicide Blasts Killed 11 anti-al-Qaeda Tribesmen in Yemen’s Turbulent South,” AP, August 21, 2011. Available:
“Suicide Bombers Kill at Least 12 in Yemen’s South,” Reuters, August 21, 2011. Available:
[2] “Four al-Qaeda Elements Killed in Abyan,” SABA News, August 20, 2011. Available:
[3] “Six Armed Men Killed in Attack on Yemen Military Camp,” Reuters, August 20, 2011. Available:
[4] “Yemen Politician Dies of Wounds from Attack on Saleh,” Reuters, August 22, 2011. Available:
[5] Nasser Arrabyee, “80 al Qaeda Operatives Killed in South Yemen Battles,” Nasser Arrabyee Blog, August 22, 2011. Available:
[6] Rashid Nuune, “AMISOM Set to Get More Troops in October,” Somalia Report, August 21, 2011. Available:
“Conclusions on the Technical Workshop on the African Union Mission in Somalia,” African Union, August 19, 2011. Available:
[7] “Somali Forces, Raskamboni Fighters Conduct Operation in Southern Town,” Shabelle Media Network, August 20, 2011. Available:
“Somali Official: We are to Attacks al Shabaab Bases in Jubba Regions,” Shabelle Media Network, August 21, 2011. Available:
[8] “Somalia: Fighting Breaks out in the Central Regions,” Mareeg Online, August 21, 2011. Available:
Mohamed Shiil, “Six Die in Central Somalia Clashes; Iran Delivers Food Aid,” All Headline News, August 21, 2011. Available:
[9] “Al Shabaab Loots Trucks Carrying Aid Food to Starving People,” Shabelle Media Network, August 20, 2011. Available:
[10] “Fighting Kills 30, Injuries Others in Southwest Somalia,” Mareeg Online, August 22, 2011. Available:
“Tense Situation at Southern Somalia Town,” Shabelle Media Network, August 21, 2011. Available:
[11] Peter Clottey, “Somalia to Unveil Security Plan,” VOA, August 21, 2011. Available:
[12] “Mogadishu Mayor: We will Reopen All Stations in Benadir Region,” Mareeg Online, August 20, 2011. Available:
“Somalia: ‘Food aid is not looted,’ Says Mogadishu Mayor,” Garowe Online, August 22, 2011. Available:
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