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 kill Belarusian in Sana’a; gunmen kill security officer in Sana’a; security forces clash with al Houthis in Sana’a; son of Salafist leader dies in Damaj; Interior Ministry confirms airstrikes in Abyan; security official says female AQAP suspects were released; U.S. condemns violence in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates bomb in Kismayo and Ras Kamboni brigade responds; Jubbaland forces arrest suspected al Shabaab members; Somali Foreign Affairs Minister accuses al Shabaab of human rights abuses; UN will not close refugee camps; EU and UN Ambassadors meet with Somali President

Yemen Security Brief

  • Unidentified gunmen shot two Belarusians waiting for a taxi in Sana’a on November 26. The Russian embassy said they were private contractors. One died and the other was seriously wounded.[1]
  • Gunmen killed Colonel Ahmed Ismail al Jahdary in Sana’a on November 26. Al Jahdary was the director of the training department of the police academy in Sana’a.[2]
  • Security forces clashed with al Houthi members of Ansar Allah in Baytbus, Sana’a city on November 26. News sources did not report the reason for the fight.[3]
  • The son of Salafist leader Sheikh Yahya al Hajouri was killed in clashes with al Houthis in Damaj, Sa’ada governorate on November 26. Two other people were wounded. Fighting renewed when al Houthis attempted to advance toward Damaj. Salafist spokesman Serour al Wadei said al Houthis resumed shelling Damaj with a variety of heavy weapons.[4]
  • The Yemeni Interior Ministry confirmed on November 25 that airstrikes killed 12 al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants in Abyan governorate last week.[5]
  • A security official said on November 26 that the four female AQAP members detained in Hadramawt last week were not arrested, but security forces released them to their families after one day. The women were wives of AQAP leaders. The official denied rumors that Wafa al Shihri, wife of the late leader Said al Shihri, and Arwa al Baghdadi were among the women detained.[6]
  • United States Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the sectarian violence in Yemen on November 25. She called the killing of MP Abdulkarim Jabdan “senseless,” and urged parties to obey the ceasefire and allow the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide medical aid.[7]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) that killed one civilian and injured six others in Kismayo, Lower Jubba region on November 25. Ras Kamboni militiamen shot and killed two civilians in Via Afmadow and Dalcadda districts of Kismayo in response to the bombing on November 25.[8]
  • Jubbaland security forces arrest two suspected al Shabaab members as they attempted to enter Kismayo, Lower Jubba region illegally on November 26.[9]
  • Somali Foreign Affairs Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Aden accused al Shabaab of committing human rights violations including violence toward women, opposing education, and blocking humanitarian aid, on November 26.[10]
  • The United Nations stated on November 25 it would not close Somali refugee camps in Kenya, responding to an earlier government order to close the camps.[11]
  • Ambassadors from the EU and UN met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to discuss the current political tension between the president and prime minister in Mogadishu on November 26.[12]

[1] “Belarusian Military Advisor Killed in Yemeni Capital,” BBC, November 26, 2013. Available:
[2] “Gunmen Kill Security Officer in Sana’a,” Saba News, November 26, 2013.Available:
[3] “Breaking: Clashes Between Ansar Allah and Security in South Sana’a, and Another in al Ma’ashiq, Aden,” Wefaq Press, November 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Son of Sheikh al Hajouri Killed in Clashes With al Houthis in Damaj,” al Khabar Now, November 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
“Assassination of Big Officer of the Interior Ministry in Sana’a and Renewal of Conflict in Damaj,” Samaa News, November 26, 2013 [Arabic]. Available:
[5] “Yemen: Airstrikes Kill 12 al-Qaeda Suspects,” AP, November 25, 2013.
[6] “Yemen: Confusion Over Reported Arrest of AQAP Deputy Leader’s Widow,” Aawsat, November 26, 2013. Available:
[7] Psaki, Jen. “Violence in Yemen,” Department of State, November 25, 2013. Available:
[8] “Police officials accuse al Shabaab of latest explosion in Kismayu,” Bar Kulan, November 26, 2013. Available: “Wellknown businessman and woman killed in Kismayo,” Dalsan Radio, November 26, 2013. Available:
[9] “Two al Shabaab suspects arrested in Kismayo,” Bar Kulan, November 26, 2013. Available:
[10] “Somali foreign minister accuses al Shabaab of human rights violations,” Bar Kulan, November 26, 2013. Available:    
[11] “UN refuses to close Somali refugee camps in Kenya,” VOA, November 25, 2013. Available:
[12] “EU, UN ambassador visit Mogadishu, hold urgent meeting with President Mohamud,” Dalsan Radio, November 26, 2013. Available:
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