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: Militants attack police headquarters building in Aden; al Houthis blow up mosque in Sa’ada and fight with Arhab tribesmen; gunmen blow up oil pipeline in Shabwah

Horn of Africa: Somali aid workers kidnapped in Lower Jubba region; AMISOM convoy hits landmine in Lower Shabelle region; hundreds of people arrested during security operations in Beledweyne; bomb injures Galkayo deputy mayor; clan militia fighting al Shabaab in Bakool region; Somali government to deploy additional troops to Lower Shabelle; al Shabaab claims 54 operations

Yemen Security Brief

  • A complex attack targeted the police headquarters building in Aden in south Yemen on December 31. A suicide car bomb exploded outside of the building and militants attempted to storm the police compound in Khormaksar neighborhood. Seven policemen were injured, according to state media. The Associated Press reported that two people had been killed. A second suicide bombing attempt was reported to have been foiled earlier and two people arrested. A police training camp in Aden was also hit by an explosion, but no casualties were reported.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants reportedly blew up a Salafi mosque in Sa’ada governorate on December 29. Clashes between al Houthi militants and tribesmen in Arhab district north of Sana’a on December 29 killed at least four people and injured others.[2]
  • Unidentified gunmen blew up an oil pipeline in Shabwah governorate on December 31. The pipeline runs from Ayad to the Bir Ali terminal in the governorate.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A Somali official reported that four Somali aid workers and their driver were kidnapped on December 29 between Dhobley and Tabta in Lower Jubba region. They were working for Juba Foundation and Southern Aid.[4]
  • An AMISOM convoy hit a landmine between Janale and Bufow districts in Lower Shabelle region on December 30. One vehicle is reported to be damaged.[5]
  • Somali security forces, working with AMISOM troops, conducted operations in Koshin and Howl Wadag neighborhoods in Beledweyne in Hiraan region. Two-hundred people were arrested during the operations.[6]
  • A bomb planted outside the house of Galkayo Deputy Mayor Abdi Osman Farah exploded on December 31. Farah suffered minor injuries.[7]
  • Shabelle News reported that a clan militia in Bakool region has begun fighting al Shabaab in the area. The clan is based in Wajid and Rabdure districts.[8]
  • Somali Colonel Hassan Dhere reported that the government would be deploying additional government forces to Lower Shabelle region to end the ongoing conflict between two rival clans.[9]
  • Al Shabaab's media arm, al Kata'ib Foundation, released 18 communiques on December 21 and 22, two of which were identical. The reports claimed credit for 54 attacks between November 10 and November 29. The attacks occurred in Bakool, Banadir, Bay, Gedo, Hiraan, Lower and Middle Shabelle, and Lower and Middle Jubba regions.[10]

[1] “Update 2-Armed Men Attack Yemen Police Headquarters, Wounding 7,” Reuters, December 31, 2013. Available:
“Suicide Car Bombing in South Yemen Kills 2 Guards,” Associated Press, December 31, 2013. Available:
[2] “Houthis Blow Up Dar al Hadith Mosque ‘Kitaf’ in Sa’ada after Seizing Control of the Region,” al Masdar Online, December 30, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Four Dead in Clashes Between al Houthi Insurgents and Tribesmen in Arhab in Sana’a,” al Masdar Online, December 29, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Unidentified Men Blow Up Oil Pipeline in Shabwah and Set Fire,” al masdar Online, December 31, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Local Aid Workers Kidnapped in Southern Somalia,” Jowhar Online and al Shahid, December 31, 2013. Available:
[5]  O. A. Osman, “Land Mine Attack hits AMISOM Troops in the Volatile Lower Shabelle Region,” Shabelle News, December 31, 2013. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Dozens Arrested in Baladweyne Cracdown [sic],” Shabelle News, December 31, 2013. Available:
[7] “Galkayo Deputy Mayor Injured in a Bomb Attack,” Bar Kulan, December 31, 2013. Available:
[8] “New Fighting’s Erupts in AlShabab Strongholds,” Shabelle News, December 31, 2013. Available:
[9] O. A. Osman, “Additional Forces to be Deployed at the Lower Shabelle Region,” Shabelle News, December 31, 2013. Available:
[10] “Shabaab Claims Suicide Attack on Djiboutian Forces, 54 Operations,” SITE Intel Group, December 27, 2013. Available at SITE.
View Citations
Arrow down red
Jan '14
Dec '13