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: unidentified gunmen kill senior Yemeni police officer in Aden; explosion kills three AQAP militants in Shabwah governorate; unidentified assailants ambush Yemeni military patrol in Hadramawt governorate
Horn of Africa: AMISOM and Somali forces clash with al Shabaab in Hiraan region; al Shabaab fires mortar shells into town in Gedo region; VBIED detonates near hotel in Mogadishu; AMISOM and Somali forces seize district from al Shabaab in Middle Shabelle region
Yemen Security Brief
- Unidentified gunmen killed a senior Yemini police officer, Colonel Tareq Sharaf, in Aden on March 15. Sharaf was shot and killed after he intervened to protect an unidentified judge, who was the target of the assailants. Although two of the gunmen were detained by Yemeni police, their identity and motive remain unclear.
- Three al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were killed after a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated in Habban in Shabwah governorate on March 16. The explosion occurred as the militants were prepping the VBIED near the house of AQAP commander Yasser al Marouh, causing significant damage to the building. Of the three AQAP militants killed, Yemeni security forces identified two as Yemeni nationals and one as a Saudi national. Additionally, one civilian was killed and two more injured by the blast.
- Unidentified assailants ambushed a Yemeni military patrol in Hadramawt governorate on March 17. The assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at a Yemeni military vehicle, killing the two Yemeni soldiers aboard.
Horn of Africa Security Brief
- Al Shabaab militants attacked AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces in Bulo-Burde town in Hiraan region over the night of March 14 and March 15. The attack came after SNA and AMISOM forces seized the town from al Shabaab on March 13. Reports indicate that five individuals were killed in the confrontation. In response, Somali and Djiboutian AMISOM forces conducted a security operation throughout Bulo-Burde on March 15, apprehending dozens of individuals for suspected links to al Shabaab and diffusing at least two identified improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
- Suspected al Shabaab militants fired mortar shells into Burdubo town in Gedo region over the night of March 14 and March 15, reportedly killing five civilians and injuring more. The mortar strikes coincided with an al Shabaab attack on an AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) military base in Burdubo district. Casualty figures associated with the attack remain unclear.
- A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) detonated near Hotel Makka al Mukarama in the Hodan district of Mogadishu on March 15. Reports indicate that, although no individuals were killed, as many as four civilians were injured in the explosion. Several Somali government officials, including Presidential Spokesman Abdirahman Yarisow, were meeting in the hotel when the VBIED detonated. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.
- AMISOM and Somali forces seized Warshikh district in Middle Shabelle region from al Shabaab on March 16. Al Shabaab militants vacated the district without resistance as AMISOM and Somali forces approached.