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: Yemeni President Saleh awaits visa from U.S. for medical care; fighting in Zinjibar between Yemeni soldiers and al Qaeda-linked militants kills five soldiers and four militants; troops loyal to Saleh kill nine “Life March” protesters and injure at least 90 more people in Sana’a; clashes between Islah party backers and al Houthi rebels leaves 20 people injured

Horn of Africa: Kenyan air raids in Badhadhe, Somalia and Kolbio, Kenya reportedly kill over 200 al Shabaab militants; roadside bomb in Boosaaso, Somalia kills at least three security officials; clashes between TFG and al Shabaab in Mogadishu leave one person dead; grenade attack by al Shabaab-linked suspects in Wajir district of Kenya wounds 7 people; landmine near Mogadishu kills one AMISOM soldier and wounds two others; at least 20 al Shabaab militants killed in alleged Kenyan airstrike on Kismayo; clashes between local clan militias and Galmudug forces in Galkayo leave six people dead and 10 wounded; gunman shoots and kills three aid workers in Mataban, Somalia

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is waiting for the Obama administration to approve his visa request to the U.S. for medical treatment. Officials reported that the conditions for the approval of Saleh’s visa request have not yet been submitted to the American Embassy in Yemen. Another administration official reported that Saleh could potentially arrive to New York-Presbyterian Hospital as early as next week.[1]
  • A military official reported that Yemeni soldiers clashed with al Qaeda-linked militants in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate, killing five soldiers and four militants. Alleged militant hideouts were shelled during the attacks.[2]
  • Local eyewitnesses reported that troops loyal to Saleh fired at and killed nine protesters and 90 others wounded outside of Saleh’s compound in Sana’a on December 24. The protesters were part of a days-long march from Taiz to Sana’a in demand of a trial for Saleh. Following the killings, Yemen’s acting leader Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi urged Saleh loyalists and rebels to call a truce. U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein told Yemeni journalists that the march was aimed at creating “chaos and violence.”[3]
  • Clashes between members of the Islah party and the al Houthi rebel movement in Sana’a square resulted in 20 injured people. A representative of the al Houthi rebel movement reported that Islah party backers attacked a tent it had pitched to protest the conditions of the deal set to remove Saleh from office.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) reported that air raids carried out by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) killed over 200 al Shabaab militants in Badhadhe in Gedo region in Somalia and Kolbio in north Kenya on December 24. The air raids were the result of intelligence reports that al Shabaab was on the verge of attacking Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and KDF troops.[5]
  • A roadside bomb in Boosaaso in northeast Somalia killed at least three Puntland security officials and wounded others.[6]
  • Karan district commissioner Abdullahi Ahmed reported fighting between TFG troops and al Shabaab militants north of Mogadishu, Somalia that killed one person and injured 11 others.[7]
  • Kenyan police have arrested two men with suspected ties to al Shabaab after they hurled two grenades at a club in the northeast district of Wajir, Kenya. Wajir-East district commissioner Kennedy Nyaiyo stated that the attack wounded at least seven people, including an army officer and a policeman.[8]
  • A landmine targeting an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) convoy killed one soldier and injured two others in the Daynile district near Mogadishu on December 25. The blast occurred along Warashadaha (Industrial) Road. An official of the Burundian forces confirmed the attack.[9]
  • According to local witnesses, a suspected Kenyan airstrike outside of Kismayo, an al Shabaab-held port city in southern Somalia, reportedly killed at least 20 al Shabaab militants on Friday evening. An unidentifiable number were also injured in the attack.[10]
  • At least six people killed and 10 people injured in a battle between local militias and Galmudug forces in southern Galkayo, Somalia. The cause of the attacks is currently unknown.[11]
  • A local aid worker and two World Food Program (WFP) staff members were shot and killed by a resident of a refugee camp in Mataban in Hiraan region in central Somalia the morning of December 23. WFP services have been suspended temporarily. The gunman is said to be in the custody of local authorities. Guriel district commissioner Osman Isse reported that hundreds of locals demonstrated against the killings.[12]


[1] Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt, “Path Is Cleared for Yemeni Leader to get Care in U.S.,” New York Times, December 26, 2011. Available:
[2] Ahmed Al-Haj, “Military Battle Against Militants in Yemen Kill 9,” AP, December 26, 2011. Available:
[3] “Nine Dead, 90 Wounded in Yemen Protest Shooting,” Reuters, December 24, 2011. Available:
Mohammed al-Kibsi, “US Ambassadors to Yemen Announcements Provoke Controversy,” Yemen Observer, December 25, 2011. Available:
[4] Mohammed Ghobari, “Foes, Backers of Yemen Transition Deal Fight in Sanaa,” Reuters, December 27, 2011. Available:
[5] Lillian Mwendo, “Kenyan Forces Kill Over 200 Al-Shabaab Militants,” KBC, December 26, 2011. Available:
[6] “Roadside Bomb Kills 3 in Bosaso City, northeast Somalia,” Mareeg Online, December 27, 2011. Available:,-northeast-Somalia-&sid=22341&tirsan=3
[7] “Fighting in Mogadishu Kills, 1 Injuries 11 Others,” Mareeg Online, December 26, 2011. Available:,-1-injuries-11-others&sid=22332&tirsan=3
[8] “Grenades Hit Kenya Club, 7 Wounded: Police,” Reuters, December 25, 2011. Available:
[9] “Explosion Kills 1, Injuries 2 African Soldiers in Mogadishu-Somalia,” Mareeg Online, December 25, 2011. Available:,-injuries-2-African-soldiers-in-Mogadishu-Somalia&sid=22328&tirsan=3
[10] “Some 20 Militants Said to Have Been Killed in southern Somalia Airstrike,” Somalia Report, December 24, 2011. Available:
[11] “6 Dead, 10 Others Wounded in Galkacyo, north Somalia,” Mareeg Online, December 24, 2011. Available:
[12] “Three Aid Workers Shot Dead in Somalia,” Telegraph, December 24, 2011. Available:
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