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: Two senior officers injured in Shabwah; two Southern Movement protesters killed in Dhaleh; five prisoners killed in escape attempt in Dhamar; fighting between the al Houthi rebels and Sunni tribesmen continues in northern Yemen; HRW releases report on Yemen’s crackdown on Arab Spring protests

Horn of Africa: At least 15 dead and 20 wounded in Mogadishu car bomb explosion; al Shabaab reports that it killed six Kenyan soldiers in Garbaharey ambush; at least 10 people killed in combat between al Shabaab and TFG, KDF, and Ras Kamboni brigades; Kenyan army spokesman announces suspected death of top al Shabaab commander

Yemen Security Brief

  • Military sources reported that two senior officers in Yemen’s 2nd Naval Infantry Brigade were injured in Shabwah during an officer-staged sit-in. The protesters demanded that they be able to return to work.[1]
  • Yemen security forces shot and killed two Southern Movement protesters in the city of Dhaleh. The separatists demanded an election boycott yelling the slogan, “Southerner wake up, no more elections.”[2]
  • Yemeni security officials reported that five prisoners were killed in Dhamar governorate on February 8. Clashes broke out when prisoners attempted to flee. Some prisoners managed to grab guns, which led to a firefight with security officers. No prisoners escaped.[3]
  • Clashes between the al Houthi rebels and Sunni tribesmen killed at least 10 people in Hajjah governorate on February 8.[4]
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report titled, “No Safe Places,” stating that 270 people were killed in Yemen’s Arab Spring protests. HRW reported that 120 people were killed in Yemen’s second largest city, Taiz. The report was based on interviews with more 170 Yemeni experts and witnesses.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Further details have emerged about the February 8 car bomb blast, which exploded at a café outside of the Hotel Muna in Mogadishu’s Hamar Weyne district. At least 15 people were killed and 20 wounded. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it was not a suicide mission. The group promised that it would carry out more attacks in the Somali capital, targeting Transitional Federal Government (TFG) troops that it says is fighting against Islam.[6]
  • Al Shabaab fighters ambushed a Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) convoy in Garbaharey, a town in Gedo region in southern Somalia. The militant group reported that it had killed six Kenyan soldiers in the February 8 attack.[7]
  • At least ten people were killed in heavy fighting between al Shabaab and TFG, Kenyan troops, and Ras Kamboni brigades in Hosingow. Fighting broke out on the night of February 8 when al Shabaab militants carried out hit-and-run attacks against allied bases.[8]
  • Kenyan army spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir announced that the KDF, accompanied by TFG troops, had killed 13 al Shabaab fighters in Dalayat, a village in southern Somalia, on February 7. Abu Yahya, al Shabaab’s senior commander in southern Somalia, is believed to be among the dead.[9]

[1] “Two Officers Injured from the 2nd Brigade in Shabwah while Dispersing Protesters,” Al Masdar Online, February 9, 2012. Available:
[2] “Two Killed in South Yemen Anti-Elections Demo,” AFP, February 9, 2012. Available:
[3] “Officials Say 5 Yemeni Prisoners Killed in Clashes During Prison Riots,” AP, February 8, 2012. Available:
[4] “Yemen Tribesmen Clash with Northern Rebels, 10 Dead,” Reuters, February 8, 2012. Available:,--dead.aspx
[5] “No Safe Places,” Human Rights Watch, February 6, 2012. Available:
Peter James Spielmann, “Report: Yemen Killed 270 in Arab Spring Protest,” AP, February 8, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Al-Shabab Bombs Mogadishu Café,” BBC News, February 9, 2012. Available:
“Al-Shabab Says It Will Continue Blasts in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, February 9, 2012. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Kenyan Convoy Attacked in Southern Somalia,” Garowe Online, February 8, 2012. Available:
[8] Aweys Cadde, “Renewed Fighting in Hosingow,” Somalia Report, February 9, 2012. Available:
[9] “Kenyan, Somali Soldiers Gun Down 13 Al-Shabaab Militants,” Raxanreeb, February 9, 2012. Available:
Tweets by Major Emmanuel Chirchir, February 8, 2012. Available:!/MajorEChirchir/status/167248146785771521
Tweets by Major Emmanuel Chirchir, February 8, 2012. Available:!/MajorEChirchir/status/167248650781732865
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