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 regains control of Shaqra, advances toward Azzan; President Hadi sets 72-hour deadline for security forces to release detainees in connection with the popular uprising; jihadist reports on slain Jordanian fighter in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Ethiopian troops clash with al Shabaab fighters on the outskirts of Yurkut; al Shabaab shoots and kills civilian in Mogadishu; TFG interior minister visits Beledweyne to discuss security issue; al Shabaab reports on attacks against AMISOM, Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Somali forces

Yemen Security Brief

  • The Yemeni military recaptured Shaqra, a coastal town in Abyan governorate, on June 14. Clashes in Shaqra between Yemeni troops, backed by armed tribesmen, and Ansar al Sharia militants killed at least 17 militants. The Yemeni 2nd Mountain Infantry Brigade, 10th Lightning Brigade, 26th Brigade, and 111th Infantry Brigade all participated in the assault. SABA Net reported that the Yemeni Air Force launched nearly 100 raids on militants in the city. The militants are reportedly still in control of al Mahfad, northeast of Shaqra. Yemeni officials said that Ansar al Sharia militants either fled to the mountainous region west of the town or continued eastward to Azzan in Shabwah governorate. Yemeni Defense Minister General Muhammad Nasser Ahmed stated that the Yemeni military would continue its offensive and hopes to regain control of Azzan within days.  Separately, at least 23 militants were killed in clashes with Yemeni soldiers in Belhaf in Shabwah governorate overnight.[1]
  • Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reportedly given the security services 72 hours to release all people who were arrested due to their participation in the 2011 popular uprising and extrajudicial detainees on June 14. UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar previously submitted a report to the UN Security Council (UNSC) urging Yemeni security forces to release detainees connected to the revolution.[2]
  • A jihadist announced the death of a Jordanian national, Abdul Rahman al Urduni, in Yemen on Ansar al Mujahideen forums on June 13. The jihadist did not post any information on when and where Urduni was killed and only noted his commitment to jihad.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab fighters targeted a Somali and Ethiopian convoy, which led to clashes in Yurkut village in Gedo region. Yurkut is a strategic site for Ethiopian troop supplies. Residents reported hearing sounds of heavy explosions and gunfire from both sides.[4]
  • Somali civilian Abdi Yare was shot and killed by al Shabaab fighters on his walk home in Labo Dhagax neighborhood in Mogadishu’s Wardhigley district. The assailants escaped before security forces reached the scene.[5]
  • The Minister of Interior for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Abdisamad Mo’allin Mohamud, traveled to Beledweyne in Hiraan region to discuss security issues and the establishment of a cohesive administration with the elders and officials from Hiraan’s regional administration.[6]
  • Al Shabaab released five communiqués through its media wing al Katai’b Media Foundation on jihadist forums on June 13. The communiqué details attacks between June 5 and 9 against AMISOM, Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Somali targets, and touches on al Shabaab’s new radio branch in Bulobarde in Hiraan region. Officials stated that fighters planted two explosive devices in a restaurant frequented by the Ethiopian forces in the city of Wabhu in Galgudud region and detonated the bombs 15 minutes apart. Additionally, the insurgency attempted to assassinate the deputy security official in Banadir region by ambushing his convoy, but acknowledged his survival. Al Shabaab also reported the public execution of a 20-year-old man for spying on behalf of Somali intelligence.[7]  

[1] “Yemeni Army Claims Major Advance in Campaign against al Qaeda,” Reuters, June 15, 2012. Available:
“Yemen Army Seizes Third City after Qaeda Pullout,” AFP, June 15, 2012. Available:
“The Army and Popular Resistance Committees Control Shaqra in Abyan,” SABA Net, June 15, 2012. Available:
“The Army and Popular Resistance Committees Control Shaqra in Abyan,” 26 September Net, June 15, 2012. Available:
[2] “Hadi Gives Authorities 72-Hour Deadline to Release Revolutionary, Extrajudicial Detainees,” Yemen Post, June 14, 2012. Available:
[3] “Jihadist Reports Death of Jordanian Fighter in Yemen,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 14, 2012. Available at SITE.
[4] “Al Shabaab attacks Somali, Ethiopian Forces in Yurkud, Gedo Region,” Shabelle Media Network, June 15, 2012. Available:
[5] “Unknown Gunmen Shot Dead a Civilian Man in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, June 15, 2012. Available:
[6] “Somalia’s Interior Minister Visits Central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, June 15, 2012. Available:
[7] “Shabaab Claims Attacks, Sets Up New Branch for Radio Station,” June 14, 2012. Available at SITE.
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