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: al Houthi delegate killed in Sana’a; gunmen kill Iranian diplomat in Sana’a; clashes in Amran kill at least 12 people; Hadi to remain in office until new constitution approved; gunman kills Taiz police director

Horn of Africa: Roadside bomb kills Somalia soldiers in Afgoi; clashes kill twelve in Lower Shabelle region; Somalia president promises revitalized counter-offensive against al Shabaab; deadly explosions rock Galkayo

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen killed Ahmad Sharaf al Din, an al Houthi delegate to the National Dialogue Conference, on January 21 in Sana’a. Sharaf al Din had previously been the dean of law faculty at Sana’a University. Separately, Abdul Wahab al Anisi’s son, Omar, was critically injured when his father’s car exploded in Sana’a on January 21. Anisi is the Secretary-General of al Islah party. The Supreme Security Council has taken steps to investigate the incidents.[1]
  • Gunmen killed Ali Ashgar Asadi, an Iranian diplomat, in Hadda neighborhood in Sana’a on January 18. It is believed that the gunmen initially attempted to kidnap Asadi, but that the attack turned deadly when Asadi resisted.[2]
  • Clashes in Amran governorate between al Houthis and tribal and Salafi militias killed at least 12 people as of January 20. Eight al Houthi fighters and four al Ahmar tribesmen were killed late on January 19.[3]
  • Delegates to Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference agreed on January 21 that President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi would remain in office until a new constitution is approved and general elections held in Yemen. Hadi was originally elected to a two-year term.[4]
  • A gunman killed the police director in Taiz city on January 19. Police Director Abdul Wali al Turkmi was killed in his car.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A roadside bomb killed two Somali soldiers and injured three others along the Afgoi-Mogadishu road in Afgoi on January 19. The explosion has not yet been claimed by any group.[6]
  • A shootout involving Somali government forces killed at least 12 people in Lower Shabelle region on January 19. The shootout occurred when a van, escorted by Somali troops, was fired upon at a checkpoint near the Afgoi district. The twelve casualties are believed to include both Somalia soldiers and citizens.[7]
  • Somalia president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, has promised a renewed effort to counter al Shabaab throughout Somalia. The president stated in a January 20 interview that “The fight against al Shabaab has not ended. It has started now.”[8]
  • A remotely detonated explosion killed at least five and injured seven others in northern Galkayo district in Mudug region. The motivation behind the January 21 explosion is unclear as the casualties appear to be limited to civilians. The governor of Mudug region, Mohamed Yusuf Jama, blamed al Shabaab for the attack.[9]


[1] “Gunmen Kill Leading Figure of Yemeni Shi’ite Group,” Reuters, January 21, 2014. Available:
“Panel Formed to Probe into NDC’s Member Murder,” SABA News Agency, January 21, 2014. Available:
“Blast Injures Son of Yemen Islamist Party Chief: Security,” AFP, January 21, 2014. Available:
[2] “Iran Diplomat Dies in Yemen after Shooting,” AP, January 18, 2014. Available:
“Iranian Envoy Killed in Yemen Kidnap Attempt,” al Jazeera, January 18, 2014. Available:
[3] “Clashes Between Rival Sects in Northern Yemen Kill 12,” Reuters, January 20, 2014. Available:
[4] “Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference Concludes with Agreement,” BBC, January 21, 2014. Available:
[5] “Yemeni Police Chief Assassinated in Country’s South,” AP, January 19, 2014. Available:
[6] “Violence kills 4 in Mogadishu, Jowhar,” Sabahi, January 20, 2014. Available:
[7] “ Somalia: Gov’t soldiers exchange gunfire in Qoryeley, 12 killed,” Shabelle News, January 19, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somalia leader promises fresh offensive against Al Shabab militants,” Dalsan Radio, January 21, 2014. Available:
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