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 military patrol hits IED in Shibam; Yemeni colonel survives assassination attempt; Southern Movement attacks military base in al Dhaleh; tribesmen and Yemeni security forces clash in Hadramawt; assailants attack Yemeni soldiers near Aden; Hashid tribesmen and al Houthi fighters exchange fire in Amran and Sana’a; Yemeni helicopter crashes, wounding five soldiers

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab promises retaliation for AMISOM traffic incident in Mogadishu; unidentified gunmen kill Kenyan police reservist

Yemen Security Brief

  • An improvised explosive device (IED) struck a Yemeni military patrol in Shibam city in Hadramawt governorate on January 28. The blast injured  five soldiers and one civilian.[1]
  • A Yemeni colonel survived an attempted assassination by discovering a bomb beneath his vehicle before starting the ignition in Sana’a city on January 29.[2]
  • Southern Movement militants attacked a military base and a government compound in Sanah district in al Dhaleh governorate with mortar rounds on January 29. No casualties were reported.[3] 
  • Tribesmen and Yemeni security forces clashed in Shibam district in Hadramawt governorate on January 28, killing one civilian and wounding two soldiers. The tribesmen also claimed to have laid siege to a government compound there. A local security official denied the claim.[4]
  • Yemeni youth in Khormaksar in Aden governorate kidnapped two Yemeni soldiers on January 28. The kidnapping set off a series of confrontations in which gunfire injured a soldier and security forces arrested a man. Separately, gunmen attacked a military base and a police station near Aden city with rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). Casualties from the attack have not been reported.[5]
  • Hashid tribesmen and al Houthi fighters exchanged tank and artillery fire in Amran governorate near the villages of Wadi Khaiwan and Dinan on January 28. No casualties were reported. Tribesmen took six al Houthi fighters prisoner in ongoing clashes around Mount “Nasr” in Sana’a governorate.[6]
  • A Yemeni helicopter crashed near Bayhan city in Shabwah governorate on January 29, wounding five soldiers. The cause of the crash remains unknown.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A statement posted on several al Shabaab-affiliated websites declared that the group is prepared to launch attacks against AMISOM in Mogadishu. The statement came after a local taxi driver was killed in a hit-and-run traffic accident involving an AMISOM convoy on January 28, which provoked angry demonstrations in Mogadishu. Although both AMISOM and the Somali federal government apologized for the incident, al Shabaab’s statement calls for Somalis to partner with al Shabaab to seek revenge against AMISOM.[8]
  • Three unidentified gunmen killed a Kenyan police reservist, Ahmed Abdalla Bakshueni, on January 28 in Malindi.  Although the motive for the killing is unclear, Bakshueni is believed to have been an informer for the Kenyan Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and various other intelligence agencies.[9] 


[1] “5 Soldiers and a civilian wounded in IED explosion targeting military patrol in Hadramawt,” al Masdar Online, January 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Online Colonel survives assassination attempt in Sana'a,” al Masdar Online, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Gunmen attack compound in Dhaleh and al Jarbah Base,” al Motamar, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Tribes besiege security headquarters as al Hazi says the security facility isn't safe... one civilian killed and two soldiers wounded in clashes between security forces and tribesmen in Shibam,” Akbaralyom, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Aden... Clashes in Khormaksar and gunmen target al Mansura police and base 20 with rockets,” Akbaralyom, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Sheik al Ahmar accuses the Houthis of misleading the public and Houthi gunmen target the mediation committee in "Ashaghba"... fierce clashes on the Hashid's two fronts in Khaiwan and Dinan as sources describe it as the most violent,” Akbaralyom, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Various weapons used in renewed violent clashes at midnight... Arhab... Son of Shiek "Mahris" dies and Houthi field commander wounded,” Akbaralyom, January 29, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “5 soldiers injured in Yemen helicopter crash,” Xinhua, January 29, 2014. Available:
[8] “Somalia’s Al Shabab vows to revenge for Somali taxi driver killed by AMISOM,” Dalsan Radio, January 29, 2014. Available:
“Demonstration against AMISOM forces held in Mogadishu,” Dalsan Radio, January 28, 2014. Available:
[9] Alphonce Gari, “Police informer shot in Malindi,” The Star, January 29, 2014. Available:
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