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 soldier kills civilian over dispute in Sana’a capital; Yemeni air force launches air raids against AQAP in Shabwah governorate; al Houthis blow up mosques in Dhamar and Amran governorates; IED detonates in Shabwah governorate

Horn of Africa: al Shabaab militants attack an AMISOM and SNA military base in Middle Jubba region; unidentified assailant targets Kenyan police vehicle with grenade in Kenya’s Coast Province; unidentified gunmen raid home of Interim Jubba Administration official in Lower Jubba region; IED detonates near AMISOM convoy in Banadir region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unverified reports indicate that a Yemeni soldier killed an unarmed civilian during a verbal altercation at a gas station in Sana’a capital on May 22. Witnesses report that the altercation began when a soldier cut to the front of a line of people waiting to purchase fuel at a gas station. When a civilian voiced his discontent, the soldier reportedly shot him and left the scene. This incident highlights rising tensions throughout Yemen caused by widespread fuel and electricity shortages.[1]
  • The Yemeni air force launched air raids against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants near the town of Hawta in Shabwah governorate on May 22. The raids inflicted structural damage on a number of houses and weapon stashes in the area, although no casualties have yet been reported.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants reportedly blew up a mosque and four Salafi-owned houses after seizing a village in Dhamar government on May 22. These events appear to be an escalation of earlier clashes that began on the same day between al Houthi rebels and tribesmen in Dhamar. Separately, al Houthi militants reportedly blew up a mosque near Amran city in Amran governorate on May 23. This incident follows recent clashes between al Houthis and Yemeni security forces near Amran city on May 20-21.[3]
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on a main road between Ataq and Naqbah in Shabwah governorate on May 23. Security officials speculate that the IED was originally intended to target a Yemeni military patrol although it hit a civilian vehicle instead, killing four and wounding three others.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab militants attacked an AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) military base in Afmadow in Middle Jubba region on May 22. The ensuing confrontation reportedly featured heavy fighting, lasting several hours. The extent of the casualties suffered during the fighting remains unclear.[5]
  • An unidentified assailant targeted a Kenyan police vehicle with a grenade in Mombasa in the Coast Province of Kenya on May 22. The assailant reportedly threw the grenade after the police arrested one of his companions. A police officer and a civilian were injured in the blast.[6]
  • Unidentified gunmen raided the home of an unnamed Interim Jubba Administration official in Dhobley in Lower Jubba region on May 22. The gunmen fired upon the official’s family, injuring the official and his wife and killing his son. The motivation behind the attack remains unknown as no group has yet claimed responsibility. Separately, unidentified gunmen fired upon a group of people in Abudwak in Galgudud region on May 22, killing one person and injuring another. Reporting indicates that the gunmen were motivated by clan related disputes among local businessmen.[7]
  • An IED detonated near an AMISOM convoy travelling on a road near Elasha Biyaha in Banadir region on May 23. Although casualty figures remain unclear, the blast reportedly destroyed a vehicle in the convoy, prompting AMISOM forces to fire indiscriminately at the source of the explosion. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast.[8]

[1] “Man killed at gas station in the capital for challenging police,” Yemen Post, May 23, 2014. Available:
[2] “Shabwa .. warplanes bombed Moaqaa the base, including a weapons cache in Huta,” Al Masdar, May 22, 2014. Available:
[3] “Local source: Houthis blow up a mosque and four houses after taking control of a village in Dhamar,” Al Masdar, May 22, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Houthis blow up Dar al Quran in al Khadrah in Amran and the Red Cross cleared the bodies of 11 soldiers and 2 Houthi,” Al Masdar, May 23, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Roadside bomb kills four citizens, injures three in Shabwa,” Saba News, May 23, 2014. Available:
[5] “Al-Shabaab invade AMISOM military base in Afmadow,” Shabelle News, May 23, 2014. Available:
[6] Joseph Akwiri, “Grenade attack on police vehicle wounds two in Kenya’s Mombasa,” Reuters, May 22, 2014. Available:
Daniel Tsuma Nyassy and Bernard Namunane, “Policeman injured in Mombasa grenade attack,” Daily Nation, May 22, 2014. Available:
[7] “Interim Jubba Administration official wounded in Dhobley attack,” Shabelle News, May 23, 2014. Available:
“Gunman kills one person in Abud-wak town, Galgadud region,” Bar Kulan, May 23, 2014. Available:
[8] “AMISOM convoy attacked in IED blast,” Shabelle News, May 23, 2014. Available:
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