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: Three AQAP militants killed in Ma’rib; two AQAP militants arrested near Taiz; eighty protestors wounded in Taiz, eight wounded in Sana’a, tribesmen join protests; JMP releases statement

Horn of Africa: Somali National Army commander says forces will rout al Shabaab from Mogadishu; al Shabaab military spokesman claimed victory in recent clashes in Mogadishu; clashes in Gedo region injure ten people; pro-government forces take al Shabaab base in Hiraan region

Yemen Security Review

  • Yemen’s Defense Ministry reported on its website that three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants had been killed at when the militants attacked a checkpoint near Safir in Ma’rib governorate. Three soldiers were killed and two others wounded in the attack. A second vehicle of militants managed to escape.[1]
  • A Yemeni security source announced that two suspected AQAP militants had been captured on their way to Taiz to join the protests. The names given were Khalid Saeed Batarfi, also known as Abu Miqdad and called the “Emir of Abyan,” and Ahmed Omar Abdul Jalil al Khadmi, also known as Amer Obel. Khalid Batarfi was said to work with AQAP’s media arm and is allegedly in charge of the group’s military wing in Abyan and al Bayda. He is also said to have been involved in attacks in Hadramawt governorate.[2]
  • At least eighty protestors in Taiz were wounded by government security forces using fire, bullets, and tear gas. In Sana’a, government supporters attacked protest camps. Eight people were reported injured, two of whom had been shot. Yemeni tribesmen have joined the protests in Sana’a. According to protestor Ahmed Hakimi the tribesmen “are here to prevent the thugs from attacking us; if any of their ranks are killed, their sheiks will pursue a vendetta, and the authorities know this.”[3]
  • The main opposition bloc, the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), released a statement that read, “The corrupt oligarchs that continue to hold on to power in this country insist on committing crimes and brutal aggression against the peaceful youth revolution in various governorates of the republic, the latest in Hodeidah, by means of frantic attempts to thwart the revolution.”[4]

Horn of Africa Security Review

  • The chief commander of the Somali National Army for the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Abdikarim Yusuf Adam Dhega-badan, announced that his forces would clear Mogadishu of al Shabaab militants.  He said, “Shabab will never claim victory over wars in Mogadishu after this time, they will be removed and their soldiered children were all died in the latest battles….People in the capital will hear something joyful soon and through out [sic] the country.”[5]
  • Al Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Abdi Aziz Abu Mus’ab claimed that al Shabaab was victorious over TFG and AMISOM forces in fighting in Mogadishu on Wednesday. Al Shabaab militants attacked government allied forces at their military bases in the capital.[6]
  • Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a fighters clashed over military vehicles in Luq in Gedo region, injuring at least ten people.[7]
  • Mohamed Nor Ago Joof, a spokesman for pro-government militias, reported the peaceful seizure of Qowland, a strategic al Shabaab operating base near Beledweyne in the Hiraan region, on Wednesday.[8]

[1] Mohammed Hatem, “Yemeni Security Forces Kill Three Suspected Al-Qaeda Militants,” Bloomberg, March 17, 2011.  Available:
“Three of al-Qaeda Elements Killed, Others Wounded in Mareb, Yemen,”, March 17, 2011. Available:
“Three al-Qaeda Terrorists Killed in Marib, Two Others Seized in Taiz,” SABA News Agency, March 17, 2011.  Available:
[2] “Two of the Most Dangerous al-Qaeda elements in Taiz, Captured,”, March 17, 2011.  Available:
“Three al-Qaeda Terrorists Killed in Marib, Two Others Seized in Taiz,” SABA News Agency, March 17, 2011.  Available:
[3] “Fourteen wounded in new clashes in Yemen – activists,” Reuters, March 17, 2011. Available:
“UDPATE 1-At least 84 wounded in new Yemen clashes – activists,” Reuters, March 17, 2011. Available:
“Yemeni Government Loyalists Attack Protesters in Sana'a,” Voice of America, March 17, 2011. Available:
“2 Yemeni Protests Come Under Attack, Witnesses Say; At least 18 Injured,” AP, March 17, 2011.  Available:
Garret Therolf, “Authorities crack down on protestors in Yemen, Algeria, Syria,” Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2011. Available:,0,1962768.story
[4] Laura Kasinof, “Clashes Reported in Western City in Yemen,” New York Times, March 17, 2011.  Available:
[5] “Somali National Chief Commander Threatens Clearing Insurgent Group from Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, March 17, 2011.  Available:
[6]“Al shabaab claims victory over Mogadishu fighting; Govt denies,” Shabelle Media Network, March 16, 2011. Available:
“Somali forces, Al Shabaab clash in Somali capital,” Shabelle Media Network, March 17, 2011. Available:
[7] “Ahlu Sunna fighters clash in Luq town,” Shabelle Media Network, March 17, 2011. Available:
[8] “Pro-government troops sieze Qowlad from Shabaab,” Suna Times, March 16, 2011. Available:
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