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: Militants ambush army vehicle in Shabwah governorate; tribesmen attack military headquarters in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthis fire on security checkpoint in Ma’rib governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali police apprehend suspected al Shabaab foreign recruits in Gedo region; mortar shells strike Baidoa in Bay region; explosion targets Somali government forces in Mogadishu

Yemen Security Brief

  • Militants ambushed a Yemeni army vehicle near Mayfa’a district in Shabwah governorate on March 3. They fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the vehicle, killing at least five soldiers. A reported U.S. airstrike targeted a car near Mayfa’a in Radhum district the same day, killing two suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants.[1]
  • Armed Al Shabwan tribesmen attacked the headquarters of the 3rd Military Command and attempted to blow up an oil pipeline in Ma’rib following a reported U.S. airstrike targeting AQAP in the area on March 3.[2]
  • Yemeni Brig. Gen. Mohamed al Adeni, the director of security in al Jawf governorate, reported that al Houthi gunmen fired on a checkpoint in al Muamira, injuring at least one of the soldiers. Such an action is a violation of the ceasefire in place.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali police apprehended two Tanzanian nationals near the Kenyan-Somali border in the Beled Hawo district of Gedo region on March 2. Somali police suspected the individuals were al Shabaab foreign recruits seeking to travel to al Shabaab strongholds in Gedo region.[4]
  • Assailants launched mortar strikes into Baidoa in Bay region over the night of March 3 and March 4. The strikes occurred a day after representatives of the proposed six-state administration in southwestern Somalia elected their administration’s president in Baidoa. Residents reported at least five mortar shells struck various parts of the town, including near AMISOM bases. A report indicated that al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, stating the strikes targeted Ethiopian AMISOM forces.[5]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED), targeting Somali government forces, detonated in the Heliwa district of Mogadishu on March 4. The associated casualties and the party responsible remain unknown. Separately, Somali police announced on March 4 that additional police forces are to be stationed at checkpoints throughout Mogadishu amidst a continued effort to bolster security in the city.[6]   

[1] “Official: Assailants Kill 5 Soldiers in South Yemen,” Yemen Online, March 3, 2014. Available:
“Drone Strike Kills Two Qaeda Suspects in Yemen,” AFP, March 3, 2014. Available:
[2] Ali Ibrahim al Moshki, “Marib Drone Strike Kills Yemen, Saudi,” Yemen Times, March 4, 2014. Available:
[3] “al Jawf Security Director Says that the al Houthis Broke the Truce and Fired at a Security Checkpoint,” al Masdar Online, March 3, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4]“Somalia: Somali Police Intercept suspected foreign al-Shabab recruits,” Horseed Media, March 4, 2014. Available:
[5] “Mortar attack hits Baidoa town a day after the election of Madobe Nunow,” Dalsan Radio, March 4, 2014. Available:
“SOMALIA: Mortar explosions heard in Baidoa town,” RBC Radio, March 4, 2014. Available:
[6]“SOMALIA: Bomb explosion targets Somali Federal government troops in Heliwa, Mogadishu,” RBC Radio, March 4, 2014. Available:
“Somali Police Force deploys extra officers at Mogadishu’s checkpoints,” Mareeg, March 4, 2014. Available:
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