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: Soldiers shoot at brigade commander in Hajjah; gunmen attack police station in Sana’a; IED found in Sana’a; Ansar al Sharia kills gay man in Hawta, Lahij; soldier kills colonel of 180th Air Defense Brigade in Sahn al Jin, Ma’rib; former President Ali Abdullah Saleh meets with al Houthi leader in Sana’a; soldiers expel head of presidential guard brigade in Sana’a; kidnapped Dutch couple threatened with execution

Horn of Africa: Somali forces clash with unknown gunmen in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region; Ras Kamboni troops arrest four al Shabaab militants in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region; streetlights destroyed in Mogadishu, Somalia; Somaliland government retracts ban on UN flights in its airspace; Puntland president claims recent rioting was caused by terrorists; demining operations are conducted in Balanbal, Galgudud region; Somali government gives media stations 45 days to register; protests occur outside Kenyan embassy in Washington, D.C.

Yemen Security Brief

  • Soldiers in Hajjah shot at the headquarters of the “Hajjah Brigade” commander, demanding that he treat one of their wounded comrades. The soldier was wounded in a previous demonstration against the commander for withholding their wages.[1]
  • Three gunmen attacked a police station in Sana’a city on July 15, wounding the director, while trying to free a prisoner.[2]
  • Security forces found and disarmed an improvised explosive device (IED) near Market 16 in Sana’a city on July 15.[3]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants killed 20-year-old Hashem al Asmi after accusing him of being gay in Hawta, Lahij governorate on July 16. The militants shot at al Asmi and drove away on a motorcycle.[4]
  • Abdurrahman Murshad, a colonel of the 180th Air Defense Brigade was killed by a soldier in Sahn al Jin, Ma’rib governorate on July 15.[5]
  • Yemen Press reported that former President Ali Abdullah Saleh met with al Houthi leader Ahmad al Kohlani in Sana’a on July 15. The source alleges that they conspired to ignite discord between al Houthis and the Islah Party.[6]
  • Soldiers and officers expelled the head of Special Guard Brigade of the Presidential Protective Forces in Sana’a on July 15.[7]
  • The kidnappers of a Dutch couple released a video as early as July 13 showing the two journalists begging for help and saying that their captors would execute them if the Dutch government did not meet their demands within ten days.[8]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali forces clashed with unknown gunmen in Shalambood, Lower Shabelle region on July 16. The casualties from the incident are not known.[9]
  • Ras Kamboni troops arrested four al Shabaab militants during a security operation in Kismayo, Lower Jubba on July 14. Three AK-47s were also confiscated during the arrests.[10]
  • Unknown attackers destroyed newly constructed street lights in Mogadishu, Somalia on July 15. Explosives were used to destroy several of the lights. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.[11]
  • The Somaliland government announced on July 15 that it would retract the ban preventing UN flights from landing or leaving airports in Somaliland’s territory. The ban was announced on May 14.[12]
  • Puntland President Abdirahman Farole claimed that the recent riots in Puntland were caused by militias and terrorists seeking to incite violence and disrupt the state’s local council elections. [13]
  • A demining campaign is underway in Balanbal, Galgudud region. The demining operation has been successful thus far, but the total amount of recovered explosives is not known.[14]
  • The Somali government is giving Somali media stations 45 days to register with the government under its new journalism law. The new law requires that journalists be at least 40 years old and registered with the Somali government though their employer.[15]
  • Demonstrators gathered in front of the Kenyan embassy in Washington, D.C. on July 15 to protest against Kenyan presence and use of force against civilians in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region.[16]

[1] “Hajjah: Soldiers Shoot at Commander of Military Brigade, Demanding Payment of Withheld Wages,” Mareb Press, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Attack on Police Department Near the Airport, Director Wounded,” Mareb Press, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Security Forces Stop IED Near Market 16 in Ha’il Neighborhood,” 26 Sep, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Yemen: Islamist Extremists Carry Out First Execution of Gay Man,” Voice Yemen, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Qaeda militants shoot dead Yemeni ‘gay’ man,” AFP, July 16, 2013. Available:
[5]  “Colonel in the Army Killed in Ma’rib under Unclear Circumstances,” Yemen Press, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Published Details of Secret Meeting Between Ali Saleh and al Houthi Leadership in al Kahalani’s House in Yemen,” Yemen Press, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “Breaking: Soldiers and Officers of the Presidential Guard Expel their Leader and Its Attempts to Rebel,” Huna Aden, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[8] “Dutch Couple Held in Yemen Plead for Help, Say at Risk of Death,” Reuters, July 16, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[9] “Fighting Takes Place in Shalambood District in Lower Shabelle Region,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 15, 2013. Available:
[10] “4 Al Shabaab Members Captured in Kismayo,” Sabahi Online, July 15, 2013. Available:
[11] “Somalia: Mogadishu Explosions Target Solar Powered Street Lights,” Garowe Online, July 15, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somaliland Announces Lifting the Ban on UN Flights,” Somaliland Informer, July 15, 2013. Available:
[13] “Terrorists and Mercenary Groups Conducted Clashes in Puntland Settlements, Says Puntland President,” Radio Mustaqbal, July 15, 2013. Available:
[14] “Demining Operation Launched in Balanbale Outskirts,” Bar Kulan, July 16, 2013. Available:
[15] “Somali Government Issued Ultimatum for Media Stations,” Bar Kulan, July 16, 2013. Available:
[16] “Hundred Demonstrate in Front of Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C.,” Shabelle, July 16, 2013. Available:
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