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: gunmen attack 2nd Military Command headquarters in al Mukalla city; gunmen assassinate local director in Ma’rib governorate; al Houthi rebels clash with security forces in Amran city; gunmen assassinate Yemeni intelligence officer and his son in al Mukalla city

Horn of Africa: Somali police conduct security operation in Mogadishu; Somali security forces arrest suspected al Shabaab militants in Hiraan region; suspected al Shabaab militants ambush vehicles in Kenya’s North Eastern Province; roadside IED detonates in Wooqooyi Galbeed region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen attacked the Yemeni 2nd Military Command headquarters in al Mukalla city in Hadramawt governorate on the evening of May 25. Yemeni soldiers returned fire, inadvertently killing two civilians and wounding an unconfirmed number of others. In response to the incident, the director of Hadramawt governorate Salem Saleh established a committee on May 26 to investigate the attack. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the event, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) publicly claimed responsibility for a similar attack at the same location in September 2013.[1]
  • Unidentified gunmen assassinated the director of the Civil Status Division in Mahliyah district in Ma’rib governorate, Ali al Talibi, on May 26. Gunmen opened fire on Talibi’s vehicle while driving along al Jawba road, wounding three of his companions. The victims were identified as members of the local al Hussein tribe. Security officials suspect that the gunmen were members of the al Matawi’ah tribe, which is currently feuding with the al Hussein tribe. Local residents are pursuing mediation options to prevent further escalation of the dispute.[2]
  • Al Houthi militants clashed with Yemeni security forces at an entrance to Amran city in Amran governorate on the evening of May 27. Al Houthi rebels reportedly fired mortars at the nearby Yemeni 310 Brigade headquarters, killing at least four Yemeni soldiers. At least nine al Houthi rebels were killed in the clash, including an al Houthi leader identified as Falhan Abdu al Houthi.[3]
  • Unidentified gunmen assassinated a Yemeni intelligence officer and his son in al Mukalla city in Hadramawt governorate on May 28. Security forces identified the officer as Colonel Salmin al Obtani.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali police conducted a security operation in Mogadishu on May 28 after a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a Somali National Army (SNA) convoy transporting General Dahir Aden Ilmi. The police arrested approximately 30 suspects during the operation. Al Shabaab reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, indicating that the objective was to assassinate General Ilmi.[5]
  • Somali security forces arrested three suspected al Shabaab militants during a security operation in the Mahas district of Hiraan region on May 28. Although the suspects claim to have defected from al Shabaab, local residents identified the individuals as members of the group.[6]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants ambushed two vehicles between Arabia and Omar Jilo in Mandera in Kenya’s North Eastern Province on May 28. The assailants fired upon a bus travelling from Nairobi, killing one and injuring two others. Soon after, the assailants fired upon a second vehicle, killing the driver and injuring a passenger.  Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, Kenyan police blame al Shabaab for the attacks, claiming that the assailants immediately fled across the border into Somalia.[7]
  • A roadside improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Hargeisa in the Wooqooyi Galbeed region of Somaliland on May 28. The target of the blast remains unclear as no group has yet claimed responsibility. The Somaliland security forces investigating the incident did not report casualty figures.[8]

[2] “ONE KILLED, THREE WOUNDED IN MARIB ATTACK,” Yemen Times, May 29, 2014. Available:
[3] “Killing four soldiers and 10 militants, including al-Huthi leader in confrontations Imran,” News Yemen, May 28, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
“Soldier killed in an attack by at least Houthis on army positions in Amran,” Al Masdar, May 28, 2014. Available:
[5] “30 arrested over the attempted assassination of Somali Military chief,” Bar Kulan, May 28, 2014. Available:
[6] “Three Al Shabaab suspects arrested in Mahas,” Bar Kulan, May 29, 2014. Available:
[7] “Suspected al Shabaab kill two in Mandera,” The Star, May 29, 2014. Available:
[8] “SOMALIA: Powerful roadside bomb explodes in Hargeisa mid last night, Somaliland’s centre,” RBC Radio, May 29, 2014. Available:
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