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 army commander assassinated in Aden and a second officer escapes attack; al Houthi militants and Sunni tribesmen agree to restore ceasefire after al Houthis advance closer to Sana’a; Southern Movement militants attack government compound in al Dhaleh; Yemeni security forces clash with Southern Movement militants in Aden; Gunmen attack Yemeni army convoy in al Dhaleh

Horn of Africa: Unknown assailant targets Somali government troops in Lower Shabelle region; violence continues in Mombasa after mosque raid; Somali police continue security crackdown in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen shot and killed a Yemeni Special Forces commander outside of Aden on February 5. The assailants waited for the commander as he exited a guard station and hailed a taxi. Separately, an intelligence officer in the Political Security Organization (PSO) escaped an assassination attempt by gunmen as he was driving in Aden city.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants reportedly advanced toward the capital, Sana’a, after a ceasefire brokered with Sunni tribesmen broke down in Arhab district on February 5. However, other sources indicated that both sides agreed to restore the truce in Arhab on February 6. Separately, al Houthi fighters took control of several government buildings in al Huth in Amran governorate on February 5 after a week of fighting with Hashid tribesmen. The al Houthis also took control of the Islah (Reform) party’s local headquarters.[2]
  • Southern Movement militants exchanged fire with soldiers guarding a government compound in Sanah in al Dhaleh governorate, wounding four civilians and one soldier.[3]
  • Yemeni security forces in Mansoura, Aden clashed with Southern Movement militants as they attempted to recover stolen vehicles belonging to the city’s Cleaning Fund. The fighting killed a nearby civilian.[4]
  • Gunmen attacked a Yemeni army convoy belonging to the 33rd Armored Brigade in al Dhaleh city on February 5, wounding one soldier.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • An unknown assailant threw a hand grenade in the vicinity of Somali government forces in Marka in Lower Shabelle region. The Somali troops responded with heavy gunfire. The extent of the casualties from the incident remains unclear. The attack comes after government forces seized Gendershe, a town strategically located between Marka and Mogadishu, from al Shabaab on February 5.[6]
  • Muslim youth rioted and clashed with Kenyan police in Mombasa on February 5 for the third straight day. The youth randomly target civilians during the riot, killing one. The continuing violence stems from the February 2 raid of al Shabaab-linked Mussa Mosque by Kenyan police.[7]
  • Somali police continue security operations in Mogadishu after al Shabaab carried out attacks throughout the city on February 2 and 3. Police confiscated explosive materials, similar to those used in the attacks, from suspects in the Hamar Weyne district on February 5. A Somali police spokesman stated that the security crackdown will continue until all hostile elements are detained.[8]
[1] “Security Vacuum met with escalation of assassinations... Aden... Special Forces battalion commander killed as PSO colonel escapes,” Akhbaralyom, February 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2]“Houthi rebels advance on Yemeni capital,” al Arabiya News, February 6, 2014. Available:
“Shiite rebels battle loyalist tribes near Yemen capital,” Daily Star, February 6, 2014. Available:
“Houthi gunmen occupy government institutions in Hawth and an al Islah headquarters and threatens to arrest anyone who erases their signs,” al Masdar Online, February 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Armed attack on a post office and five wounded in clashes between al Hirak and security at a government compound… al Dhaleh… al Beidh’s al Hirak claims responsibility for armed attacks against army and security locations,” Akhbaralyom, February 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Gunmen in Mansoura steal bus and clashes between al Hirak and security forces in Aden break out during a security campaign to recover cleaning vehicles and open roads,” Akbaralyom, February 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Soldier wounded in attack on army convoy in al Dhaleh,” al Motamar, February 5, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Blast occurs in Marka town as movement in the town comes to a standstill,” Shabelle News, February 6, 2014. Available:
[7] Joseph Akwiri, “Youth riot in Kenya for third time over mosque raid, one dead,” Reuters, February 5, 2014. Available:
[8] “Comprehensive security operations conducted in some parts of Mogadishu last night,” Shabelle News, February 6, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Mogadishu police confiscate Handmade Explosives,” RBC Radio, February 5, 2014. Available:
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