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: Bomb blast kills Yemeni soldiers in Sana’a; airstrike kills AQAP militants in Abyan; al Houthi militants sign ceasefire with Hashid tribesmen in Amran; Yemeni police stop IED attack in Sana’a; AQAP offers condolences for death of Abdullah Azzam Brigades leader

Horn of Africa: Explosions and gunfire heard throughout Mogadishu; al Shabaab claims victory after clashing with Puntland security forces in Bari region

Yemen Security Brief

  • A bomb planted under a bus carrying Yemeni soldiers exploded in the Dar Salm district of Sana’a on February 4, causing up to six fatalities and 17 injuries among the soldiers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.[1]
  • Yemeni security forces claimed that an airstrike killed and injured several al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants near al Mahfad in Abyan governorate on February 2. The exact number of casualties remains unknown.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants and Hashid tribesmen agreed to a ceasefire on February 4 stipulating that both sides will withdraw from Khamra in Amran governorate and allow the Yemeni army to deploy in the contested area.[3]
  • Yemeni police found and cleared an improvised explosive device (IED) in al Hasaba, Sana’a on February 3.[4]
  • AQAP released a statement on jihadist forums eulogizing Majid bin Muhammad al Majid, the former leader of the Lebanon-based Abdullah Azzam Brigades, on February 3.[5] 

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Up to fifteen explosions were heard in various districts throughout Mogadishu on February 3.  The explosions, described by residents as mortar strikes, and sporadic gunfire were heard near the Somali Presidential Palace in Wardhigley district as well as in the Bondhere, Hamar Jabjab, Hamar Weyne, Hawl Wadag, Hodan, and Waberi districts. The extent of the casualties remains unclear. Somali police described the blasts as stemming from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with the purpose of instilling fear in the local population. Although responsibility for the attack has not yet been claimed, police and security forces detained more than 50 people suspected of involvement.[6]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab, declared victory after al Shabaab militants clashed with Puntland security forces near Boosaaso in Bari region on February 3.  Mus’ab claimed al Shabaab killed eleven Puntland soldiers and destroyed a military vehicle during the fight in the Galgala Mountains. Despite Mus’ab’s statement, the commander of the Puntland forces in the area, Colonel Jama Said, reported that his forces successfully repulsed the al Shabaab attack.[7]      

[1] “Officer killed, 17 soldiers Injured in terrorist attack,” Saba News, February 4, 2014. Available:
“Fatalities and injuries from explosion targeting army bus in Sana’a,” al Motamar, February 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Fatalities and injuries from airstrike targeting AQAP sites in Abyan,” News Yemen, February 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Avaiable:
[3] “Shi'ite rebels, tribes agree ceasefire in north Yemen: sources,” Reuters, February 4, 2014. Available:
[4] “Police stop IED planted next to apartments in al Hasaba,” al Masdar Online, February 4, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Condolences for Death of Brigades of Abdullah Azzam Leader,” SITE, February 3, 2014. Available at SITE,
[6] “Mogadishu hosts second night explosions, police describe handmade bombs,” Dalsan Radio, February 4, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Mortar fire lands near Mogadishu Presidential Palace,” Garowe Online, February 4, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Police spokesman says IEDs attacked in Mogadishu districts causing no harm,” RBC Radio, February 4, 2014. Available:
[7] “Al Shabab claims victory over fight with Puntland security forces near Bosasso,” Dalsan Radio, February 4, 2014. Available:


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