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 suspects bomb oil pipeline in Ma’rib; tribesmen agree to stop harboring al Qaeda in wake of pipeline bombing; one person killed, 8 others wounded in clashes in Ma’rib province; senior security official killed in southern Yemen, two soldiers killed defusing bomb in Dhaleh; AQAP announces expanded list of officials targeted for assassination; al Haq party leader escapes assassination attempt
Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab captures Beledweyne following Hizb al Islam pullout; Somaliland arrests four al Shabaab suspects; conflict between TFG soldiers and policemen kills 13 in Mogadishu; Hizb al Islam kills two, arrests dozens enforcing World Cup soccer ban; militants attack home of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a chief, wounding three; gunmen kill prosecutor in Puntland; human rights officials claim TFG uses child soldiers; Somali pirates free U.K.-flagged ship after ransom paid; Somali minister says piracy, international fleet has curbed illegal fishing off Somali coast
Yemen Security Brief
- Yemeni officials have blamed al Qaeda for the bombing of an oil pipeline and report that al Qaeda militants killed a senior army officer and at least one other person in Ma’rib province on Saturday Suspects include Yemenis and at least two Saudis. The attack came after security forces declared that they had thwarted an imminent plot in the oil-rich province after destroying an al Qaeda hideout.
- Tribal sources say leaders have reached an agreement with the government to allow the repair of an oil pipeline in Ma’rib province. The tribes have also agreed to unite against al Qaeda and against those who harbor them.
- Clashes continue in Abaida district of Ma’rib province as security forces attempt to capture Ali Saeed bin Jamil. The Yemeni Defense Ministry reports that at least one person was killed and eight others wounded.
- Gunmen shot and killed senior security official Jalal al Uthmani on Saturday outside of his home in Abyan province. Sunday, two soldiers died in Dhaleh trying to defuse a bomb outside the gates of an army camp.
- According to security sources, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has allegedly expanded its list of officials targeted for assassination in Ma’rib province. In the past three years, 37 army and local officials have reportedly been killed by the group.
- Hassan Mohammed Zeid, the Secretary General of al Haq opposition party, said Sunday that he escaped an assassination attempt in Sana’a. Four gunmen allegedly attempted to shoot Zeid in a drive-by attack in al Jooraf quarter.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants captured the town of Beledweyne Friday following a complete pullout from the town by Hizb al Islam.
- Somaliland security officials arrested four suspected al Shabaab militants in Gabiley. Unconfirmed reports say the suspects were carrying bags filled with explosives.
- Infighting between TFG soldiers and policemen in Mogadishu’s Hamarjajab district killed 13 people, mostly soldiers, and wounded 14 others. The cause of the conflict is unknown, although police claim the soldiers attempted to rob a civilian car and they tried to stop the theft.
- Hizb al Islam militants raided a home where people were watching a World Cup soccer match Saturday in Mogadishu, killing two and arresting 10 others. Also, the group arrested at least 30 people, mostly teenagers, who were watching a match Sunday in Afgoi. Both Hizb al Islam and al Shabaab have banned Somalis from watching the soccer event, calling it un-Islamic.
- Islamist militants attacked the home of Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a leader Sheikh Mohamed Yusuf Hefow with grenades in Guriel in Galgudud region Saturday. He was not present during the attack, but three men meeting in the home were injured by the blasts.
- Unknown gunmen killed a prosecutor in Boosaaso in Puntland and wounded his bodyguards following a series of government raids on militants.
- UN and Somali human rights officials claim the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) uses hundreds of child soldiers in its army, some as young as nine years old. Reportedly, about 20 percent of the TFG’s troops are children, compared to about 80% within insurgent troops.
- Somali pirates freed a UK-flagged cargo ship and its crew of 25 after receiving a ransom payment.
- Somalia’s Fisheries Minister said the threat of piracy, as well as international fleet activity, has eliminated most, if not all, illegal fishing off the country’s coast.