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: Airstrikes near Jaar and al Bayda kill at least 41 al Qaeda-linked militants; unknown gunmen seize car belonging to al Tasleef Bank containing over 100 million Yemeni Rial; Yemeni Ministry of the Interior reports that terrorist elements burned six oil shipments in Hadramawt; two Somali militants killed by an explosion and four arrested in Mudia; Madad News Agency releases a video showing AQAP official al Fathani’s burial in Mudia

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab attacks Ethiopian military bases, killing over 100 people; grenade attack at Nairobi bus station kills at least six people and wounds nearly 60; al Shabaab militants ambush KDF and TFG convoy in Lower Jubba; al Shabaab spokesman vows that group will carry out a series of attacks against Ethiopian and TFG troops; al Shabaab attack on TFG and Ras Kamboni brigades kills at least three people in Hayo; al Shabaab fires mortars into IDP camp, wounding seven civilians; six al Shabaab militants killed in fighting with KDF backed by TFG troops near Afmadow

Yemen Security Brief

  • Yemeni officials reported that U.S. aircrafts carried out four airstrikes on Khanfar Mountain near Jaar in Abyan governorate, an Ansar al Sharia stronghold, on March 11. Witnesses reported that three al Qaeda-linked militants were killed. The Yemeni Air Force conducted air raids targeting a Yemeni military base seized by Ansar al Sharia militants killing 20 militants on March 10. On March 9, Yemeni officials reported that airstrikes near al Bayda city in al Bayda governorate killed 18 al Qaeda-linked militants.[1]
  • Unknown gunmen dressed like security personnel seized a vehicle belonging to al Tasleef Bank holding 114 million Yemeni Rial (over 500,000 U.S. dollars) in al Mansoura district in Aden.[2]
  • The Yemeni Ministry of the Interior reported that terrorist elements burned six shipments of oil, containing over 600,000 liters, in Hura in Hadramawt governorate.[3]
  • Two Somali militants were killed on March 10 in Mudia in Abyan governorate by an explosion. The Yemeni Ministry of the Interior reported, “The bodies of two were ripped apart in the explosion, which happened before they were able to execute their attack.” Yemeni security forces arrested four suspected al Shabaab militants near the site of the explosion.[4]
  • On March 9, Madad News Agency released a video on jihadist forums showing the burial of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) official Abdul Munim al Fathani. Al Fathani was killed on January 31 by a U.S. airstrike in Abyan governorate. The video shows the dead body of al Fathani and reports that he was buried in Mudia.[5]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked an Ethiopian military base near Yurkut village in Somalia’s Gedo region on March 10. The Islamist group reported that it had killed 73 Ethiopians, and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) reported that 48 militants had been killed. The attack came a day after the African Union announced that Ethiopia would withdraw its forces from Beledweyne and Baidoa by the end of April, to be replaced by AMISOM troops from Burundi, Uganda, and Djibouti.[6]
  • At least six people were killed and almost 60 others wounded in a grenade attack at a Nairobi bus station on March 10. Kenyan police blamed al Shabaab for the attack and four suspects have been arrested. Al Shabaab did not claim responsibility and issued a denial of responsibility through its Twitter account.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants ambushed a Kenyan and TFG convoy between the Taabta and Qoqani in Lower Jubba region. Five militants and an undisclosed number of Kenyan soldiers were killed.[8]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage announced that the militant group would carry out substantial attacks, including car bombs, against the Ethiopian military and TFG. He called on local residents to help al Shabaab in its “holy war.”[9]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a TFG and Ras Kamboni Brigades position in Hayo village, in Lower Jubba region on March 10. At least three people were killed and several were injured in the battle, in which the two sides exchanged machine gun and mortar fire.[10]
  • Al Shabaab fired mortars on an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp near Ex-control Afgoi on March 11. Seven civilians were injured in the attack.[11]   

[1] Ahmed al Haj, “Yemen Officials: US Airstrikes Hit al-Qaida Area,” AP, March 11, 2012. Available:
Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf, “Air Strikes in Yemen Kill 45 Suspected Qaeda Militants,” Reuters, March 10, 2012. Available:
“Airstrike on Khanfar Mountain in Abyan Kills 3,” Al Masdar Online, March 11, 2012. Available:
[2] “Unknown Gunmen Seize a Government Bank Car in Aden Carrying 114 Million Rial,” Al Masdar Online, March 12, 2012. Available:
[3] “Terrorist Elements Burn Six Oil Shipments and Their Content in Hura in Hadramawt,” Ministry of the Interior, March 11, 2012. Available:
[4] “Two Somali Militants Killed in Yemen Bomb Plot,” Reuters, March 11, 2012. Available:,-Somali-militants.aspx
“Two Killed by Explosion on Motorcyle in Mudia,” Ministry of the Interior, March 10, 2012. Available:
[5] “Madad News Agency Releases Video of an AQAP Official’s Burial,” SITE Intelligence Group, March 9, 2012. Available at SITE.
[6] “Somalia Islamist al-Shabab Ambush Ethiopia Troops,” BBC News, March 20, 2012. Available:
Abdi Sheikh, “Ethiopian, al Shabaab Forces Clash in Somalia,” Reuters, March 10, 2012. Available:,0,3988485.story
[7] Bernard Momanyi, “Police Blame Shebab in Deadly Nairobi Attack,” AFP, March 10, 2012. Available:
David Clarke, “Toll Reaches Six in Kenyan Capital Bus Station Blast,” Reuters, March 11, 2012. Available:
Cyrus Ombati, “Four Arrested Over Grenade Attacks,” The Standard, March 11, 2012. Available:
Tweets by HSM Press Office, March 12, 2012, Available:
[8] “Kenyan, Somali Army Clash with Al-Shabab in Lower Juba Region,” Shabelle Media Network, March 12, 2012. Available:
[9] “Al-Shabab Vows ‘Massive’ War Against TFG, Ethiopia Troops,” Shabelle Media Network, March 12, 2012. Available:
[10] “3 Slain as TFG, Al-Shabab Clash in Lower Jubba Region,” Shabelle Media Network, March 10, 2012. Available:
[11] “Al Shabab Shells IDPs Camp, 7 Wounded,” Raxanreeb, March 11, 2012. Available:
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