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: Suspected AQAP militants kill security officer in al Hawta, Lahij governorate; explosive device detonates in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate; clashes break out among soldiers from the 15th Infantry Brigade in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate; security forces arrest suspect in May 8 attack that killed three Yemeni pilots; prosecutors announce plan to strike, demand greater security following AQAP threats; gunmen attack telecommunications cable in Amran governorate

Horn of Africa: Somali troops fight each other in Baidoa, Bay region; grenade attack and security operations occur in Marka, Lower Shabelle region; two al Shabaab journalists defect in Baidoa, Bay region; Puntland security forces seize port in Boosaaso, Bari region; Somali defense minister announces Somalia is unable to buy weapons; Somali president meets with businesses in London, England

Yemen Security Brief

  • Suspected al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants shot and killed a Political Security officer in al Hawta, Lahij governorate on May 9.[1]
  • An explosive detonated near the home of Tariq al Fadhli, a local sheikh with suspected ties to AQAP, in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate on May 9.[2]
  • Clashes broke out between soldiers from the 15th Infantry Brigade in Zinjibar, Abyan governorate on May 9 after the chief of staff prevented them from quelling a local protest over wages.[3]
  • Security forces arrested one suspect in the attack that killed three Air Force pilots in Lahij governorate on May 8.[4]
  • Members of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution from eight governorates announced on May 9 their intention to go on strike next week unless they are provided adequate security and protection following repeated threats from AQAP.[5]
  • Gunmen attacked a telecommunications cable in Amran governorate on May 8, causing Internet outages in several governorates.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali Army troops battled each other in Baidoa, Bay region on May 8. One person was killed and five others, including civilians, were injured. The fighting broke out after one group of soldiers tried to relieve another group of soldiers from their post.[7]
  • A grenade attack targeted the home of the district commissioner in Marka, Lower Shabelle region on May 8. No one was injured in the explosion. Somali troops conducted security operations in the town following the attack and arrested several suspects.[8]
  • Two journalists who worked for the al Shabaab radio station Andalus defected and turned themselves in to Somali troops in Baidoa, Bay region on May 9.[9]
  • Puntland security forces seized the port in Boosaaso, Bari region on May 8. The troops were protesting over not receiving their pay for the last ten months.[10]
  • Somali Defense Minister Abdihakim Fiqi announced on May 8 that, while the arms embargo on Somalia has been lifted, the government does not have enough money to buy weapons.[11]
  • Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met with businesses and potential investors in London, England on May 8.[12]     

[1] “Urgent: PSO officer assassinated by unknown gunmen in al Hawta, Lahij,” Barakish, May 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[2] “Urgent: Violent explosion shakes Zinjibar, capital of Abyan governorate,” Barakish, May 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[3] “Urgent: Violent clashes break out in the 15th Infantry Brigade in Zinjibar, Abyan,” Barakish, May 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Security source: One of the suspect accused of killing 3 pilots in Lahij is arrested,” Al Masdar Online, May 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “AQAP causes Yemeni judges to strike in eight governorates, including six southern ones,” Mareb Press, May 9, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[6] “Weak Internet in Yemen caused by sabotage attack,” Mareb Press, May 8, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[7] “One Reportedly Killed Five Others Injured in Baidoa Clashes,” Bar Kulan, May 9, 2013. Available:
[8] Somali Government Troops Conduct Operation in Marka Town,” Mustaqbal Radio, May 8, 2013. Available:
[9] “Two Journalists From al Shabaab Surrender to Somali Government,” Kulmiye News, May 9, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somalia: Bosaso Port, Puntland Commercial Center Has Been Seized,” Mareeg, May 8, 2013. Available:
[11] “Arms Embargo Lifted, But Somalia Cannot Afford Weapons,” Reuters, May 8, 2013. Available:
[12] “Somali President Meets Business Communities in London,” Bar Kulan, May 8, 2013. Available:
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