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 Qaeda-linked militants storm and set fire to a hotel in Aden

Horn of Africa: Kenyan and Somali troops seize town; al Shabaab withdraws from Bulobarde; Kenyan security forces allegedly arrest hundreds of Somalis living in Mandera, Kenya; gunmen abduct Galmudug education minister in Galkayo; TFG soldier kills two civilians and injures one other in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda-linked militants stormed and set fire to an Aden hotel, the Layali Dubai, that served alcohol killing two people and wounding 20 others. A hotel guest said that about five masked militants came into the hotel and shot at random. The militants then poured fuel on the hotel’s carpets and set it ablaze.[1]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir confirmed that Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and Somali government troops seized Farfadun, a town south of Bardhere in Gedo region. One Kenyan soldier was injured and three al Shabaab militants were killed. Chirchir also reported that a “key” al Shabaab leader in Gedo, Sheikh Hassan Hussein, was killed.[2]
  • Eyewitnesses reported that they saw vehicles with armed al Shabaab militants departing Bulobarde in Hiraan region in central Somalia towards the south. Bulobarde is located 120 kilometers north of Beledweyne and is the second largest town in Hiraan region.[3]
  • The Kenyan military has reportedly arrested hundreds of Somalis living in Mandera in northeast Kenya in an attempt to find the mastermind behind the landmine attack on January 3.[4]
  • Senior Galmudug officials reported that Somali gunmen abducted the education minister Burhan Samatar in Galkayo in central Somalia.[5]
  • An eyewitness reported that a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldier opened fire and killed two civilians and wounded one other in Mogadishu.[6]

[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Militants Raid Yemen Hotel Serving Alcohol, Kill 2,” AP, January 4, 2012. Available:
“Two Killed in Attack on Yemen ‘Prostitution’ Hotel,” AFP, January 4, 2012. Available:
[2] “Kenya Military Reports Three Al-Shabab Fighters Killed in Battle in Somalia,” AP, January 4, 2012. Available:
“KDF Kill Three Al Shabaab Militants, Take Over Fafadun Town,” Shabelle News, January 4, 2012. Available:
“Kenya Says Forces Take Somali Town from al Shabaab,” Voice of America, January 4, 2012. Available:
[3] Abdalle Ahmed, “Somalia: Al-Shabab Vacates Second Largest City in Hiraan Region,” Raxanreeb Radio, January 4, 2012. Available:
[4] “Kenya Detain More Than 100 People Who Is Originally From Somalia in Madera Town,” Mareeg Online, January 4, 2012. Available:
[5] “Gunmen Abduct a Minister in Central Somalia,” Shabelle News, January 3, 2012. Available:
[6] “Government Soldier Kills 2, Injuries 1 Other in Mogadishu-Somalia,” Mareeg Online, January 3, 2012. Available:,-injuries-1-other-in-Mogadishu-Somalia&sid=22448&tirsan=3
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