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: Three suspected al Qaeda-linked prisoners escape in Lawder; Vice President Hadi promises reconciliation among separatists and insurgents; violence between al Houthis and Salafists continues in Hajjah governorate

Horn of Africa: IED rips through Hamar Weyne district in Mogadishu; TFG troops and al Shabaab militants clash near Afgoi; al Shabaab releases six communiqués detailing attacks and recent activities

Yemen Security Review

  • Three al Qaeda-linked detainees reportedly escaped a prison in Lawder in northern Abyan late on February 6. A local source said that one of the prisoners was “badly wounded” by security gunfire while escaping.[1]
  • Yemeni Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi announced that one of his priorities will be to “foster national reconciliation among separatists in the south and insurgents in the north.” Hadi is running as an unopposed candidate. The referendum election is scheduled for February 21.[2]
  • Clashes between al Houthis and Salafists reportedly killed 40 al Houthi rebels and 15 Sunni tribesmen and wounded scores of others on February 5 and 6 in Hajjah governorate. A local source claimed that fighting continued on for 10 hours.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Hamar Weyne district in Mogadishu. Locals reported that one person sustained serious injuries.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants clashed with Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops overnight near Afgoi. A witness reported that at least one person was killed and five others were wounded.[5]
  • Al Shabaab released six communiqués on jihadist forums on February 5 and 6 detailing attacks on Kenyan, Ethiopian, and TFG troops that killed 26 soldiers. Al Shabaab claimed that Five Ethiopian soldiers and 16 TFG soldiers were killed in a raid on Luq on February 4. In other attacks, al Shabaab claimed that two Ethiopian soldiers were killed in Beledweyne on February 4, and three Kenyan soldiers killed in Dhobley in Jubba region on February 2. The messages also reported that al Shabaab received 80 weapons for its fighters from sympathizing tribes.[6]

[1] “Three Al-Qaeda Militants Break Out Prison in South Yemen,” Yemen Post, February 7, 2012. Available:
[2] Margaret Coker, “Yemen’s Incoming Leader Promises Reconciliation,” The Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2012. Available:
[3] “Sectarian Clashes Continue in North Yemen, At Least 55 Killed,” Yemen Post, February 6, 2012. Available:
“Renewed Clashes between the al Houthis and Tribes in Kashar,” Mareb Press, February 7, 2012. Available:
[4] “Landmine Explosion Rocks Hamar Weyne District, Injures One,” SONNA, February 7, 2012. Available:
[5] “TFG Soldiers, Al-Shabab Militants Battle in Somali Capital,” Shabelle Media Network, February 7, 2012. Available:
[6] “Shabaab Claims Killing 26 Enemy Soldiers, Reports on Civilian Activities,” SITE Intelligence Group, February 6, 2012. Available at SITE.
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