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: Gunmen fire on alleged AQAP militants in Abyan; Yemen refuses to extradite U.S.-designated individual; clashes between al Houthis and tribesmen kill 23 people; tribesmen blow up oil pipeline in Hadramawt; reported airstrike injures three people in al Bayda governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali troops graduate from military training in Galgudud; al Shabaab militants kidnap Somali WHO official; a landmine kills at least one person in Mogadishu; al Shabaab seizes vehicle carrying qat in Gedo region; security forces close illegal roadblocks in Lower Shabelle region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Gunmen fired on a car carrying three alleged al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Mahfad district in Abyan governorate early the morning of January 6. The injured militants were taken to Azzan in Shabwah governorate. Security forces are continuing to investigate the incident.[1]
  • The Yemeni government has refused to arrest and extradite Abdulwahhab Muhammad Abdulrahman al Humayqani, who was designated by the U.S. government as an al Qaeda financier. The refusal followed a request for clarifications on the terms of the financial sanctions.[2]
  • Fighting in al Jawf governorate between al Houthi fighters and armed Daham tribesmen killed at least ten people on January 5 and four people on January 4. Clashes in Harf Sufyan in Amran governorate killed seven people and two others were killed in shelling in Dammaj in Sa’ada governorate on January 5.[3]
  • Tribesmen in Hadramawt blew up a pipeline in Reseb village in Block 51 in the Masila area on January 5. The Yemeni Government repaired a main oil pipeline in Ma’rib governorate, restoring the flow of crude oil from the region. Clashes that began on January 3 and continued into January 4 killed at least 13 people. Five soldiers were killed, as was the Ma’rib’s police chief. At least three tribesmen were killed and six others injured. Army-fired shells accidently hit two houses in Wadi Abida, killing four women and a civilian.[4]
  • Mareb Press reported that an airstrike in Qifah district in al Bayda governorate injured two people seriously. According to witness accounts, the rockets missed the car and exploded nearby, injuring three of seven passengers.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Six-hundred Somali soldiers graduated on January 4 from the 21st military training base in Dhusamareb in Galgudud region. The base commander, Colonel Sulub Ahmed Dirie, and the governor of Galgudud region, Hussein Ali Wehlie, addressed the troops at their graduation ceremony.[6]
  • Al Shabaab militants kidnapped a Somali WHO official working in Bay region on January 4. The official, Dr. Abukar Hashim, was working in Burhakaba in Bay region and brought to Dinsor by the militants.[7]
  • A landmine killed at least one person and injured three others in Arafat neighborhood in Yaqshid district in Mogadishu on January 4. The intended target may have been the district commissioner.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants seized a vehicle that was transporting qat near Bardhere in Gedo region about ten days ago. Al Shabaab also burned a large amount of tobacco in the region.[9]
  • Somali security forces and AMISOM troops conducted security operations in the area between Leego district in Lower Shabelle region and Bay region on January 3. Leego district commissioner Abukar Abdullahi reported that the troops cleared illegal roadblocks and arrested seven people.[10]
  • Traditional elders and officials from Bay and Bakool regions met in Baidoa in Bay region to discuss the possibility of forming a semi-autonomous state in southwest Somalia. Deputy Governor of Bay region Shina Maallim Nurow welcomed a three-region state.[11]     

[1] “3 Unidentified al Qaeda Gunmen Injured in Mahfad, Abyan,” Mareb Press, January 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Yemen Refuses to Extradite Politician Sought by US,” AP, January 5, 2014. Available:
“President Hadi Affirms Yemen’s Rejection to Extradite al-Homaiqani,” Saba News Agency, January 5, 2014. Available:
“Yemen Demands US Clarifications on Sanctions Imposed on Yemenis,” Saba News Agency, January 4, 2014. Available:
[4] Saeed al Batati, “Yemen Tribesmen Attack Oil Pipeline in Hadramout,” Gulf News, January 5, 2014. Available:
“13 Dead as Army Clashes with Tribesmen in Yemen,” Gulf News, January 4, 2014. Available:
“Yemen Repairs Attacked Pipeline, Oil Flows Again,” al Arabiya News, January 5, 2014. Available:
[5] “Two People Injured in Air Strike Targeting a Car in the area of Qifah,” Mareb Press, January 6, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Hundreds of Newly Trained Forces Join Somali Army,” Hiiraan News, January 4, 2014. Available:
[7] “Somalia: Al Shabaab Militia Kidnaps WHO official in Bay Region,” Garowe Online, January 4, 2014. Available:
[8] “Civilians Affected in Mogadishu Landmine Blast,” Dalsan Radio, January 4, 2014. Available:
“Mine Blast Kills Two in Somali Capital,” Hiiraan News, January 4, 2014. Available:
[9] “Alshabab Fighters Seize a Vehicle Transporting Intoxicants in Gedo Region,” Shabelle News, January 4, 2014. Available:
[10] “Somali Forces, AMISOM Conduct Deadly Operations Against Armed Gangs,” Dalsan Radio, January 4, 2014. Available:
[11] “Bay and Bakool Officials Support Three-Region Semiautonomous State Formation,” Bar Kulan, January 5, 2014. Available:
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