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 two soldiers in Aden; six al Qaeda-linked militants killed in Zinjibar; shelling kills one person in Taiz; al Houthi rebels attack Salafists in Sa’ada; Madad News Agency releases third issue highlighting AQAP activities

Horn of Africa: Suicide bombing kills four TFG soldiers; bomb kills ten women in Mogadishu; al Shabaab amputates hands and legs of alleged robbers; aid agencies begin resettling famine refugees  

Yemen Security Brief  

  • A security official reported that gunmen opened fire on a police vehicle in Khormaksar district in Aden. Two soldiers were killed in the reported assassination attempt of a police commander. The attack took place as thousands of protesters supporting the Southern Movement rallied calling for secession from the north. Southern Movement leader Ali Salim al Beidh issued a statement affirming his commitment to "continue the struggle until we achieve our national aspirations for independence."[1]  
  • Government troops shelled positions held by al Qaeda-linked militants killing four militants in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Among those killed were an Iraqi, a Saudi, a Yemeni, and a Nigerian national. Two other militants were reportedly killed when government troops ambushed their vehicle.[2]  
  • Forces loyal to Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh shelled several neighborhoods in Taiz, killing one person and injuring three others, according to medical sources. The majority of the attacks were concentrated around Hurriyah (Freedom) Square and several homes and shops were reportedly damaged.[3]  
  • A spokesman for the Salafists, Abu Ismail, reported that al Houthi rebels shelled Salafists injuring at least 26 people in Damaj in Sa’ada governorate. Several students from the Dar al Hadith Salafist school were reportedly injured.[4]  
  • A Yemeni jihadist media group, Madad News Agency, published its third issue reporting on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) and the al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al Sharia’s activities on jihadist forums on November 29. The issue features previously unreleased statements by AQAP claiming responsibility for the bombing of an oil pipeline in Azzan district in Shabwah governorate on November 14 and the killing of Colonel Amin al Shami, a Yemeni air force commander after he left Anad base in Lahij governorate, and denying the death of AQAP media chief, Ibrahim al Banna, as had been confirmed by Yemen’s Defense Ministry, in a U.S. drone strike. The issue criticizes U.S. “aggression” against Muslims stating that “These clear American aggressions against the Arabian Peninsula require us to remind the Crusaders that war procreates war, and the blood of Muslims that they shed will not go in vain.” The issue also discusses AQAP attacks and targeted assassinations against political and military leaders in Abyan and Aden governorates.[5]    

Horn of Africa Security Brief  

  • A suicide bomber attacked Villa Baidoa in Mogadishu, killing four Transitional Federal Government (TFG) soldiers and wounding 12 others. The bomber reportedly pretended to have stomach pains when he entered the compound to gather more troops around him, and then, when challenged by a soldier, blew himself up. General Abdikarim Yusuf Dagabadan, commander of the Somali armed forces, commented that the bomber may have been targeting him as he came in to work.[6] 
  • A bomb exploded in Dharkenley district in Mogadishu, killing ten women and injuring several others. The women were cleaning the street.[7]  
  • Al Shabaab militants in Lafole in Lower Shabelle region amputated the hands and legs of 24-year-old Sa’id Hussein Mohamed and 21-year-old Idiris Alahi Mohamed after they were convicted of robbing people in Daynile district in Mogadishu.[8]  
  • Aid agencies began voluntary resettlement of tens of thousands of Mogadishu’s displaced persons back to Bay, Bakool, and Lower Shabelle regions to try to take advantage of the remainder of the rainy season. Mohamed Abdullahi Hussein, director of the Somali operations of the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent Society, one of the agencies involved in the resettlement program, said that the families were being given food for three months, material for shelter, and between $100 and $150.[9]  

[1] Mohammed Ghobari, “WRAPUP 1-Northern battle flares as Yemen seeks interim govt,” Reuters, November 30, 2011. Available:
“Two Yemen soldiers killed as thousands rally,” AFP, November 30, 2011. Available:
[2] “Two Yemen soldiers killed as thousands rally,” AFP, November 30, 2011. Available:
[3]Ahmed al Haj, “Government forces shell Yemeni city, killing 1,” AP, November 30, 2011. Available:
“Yemen regime forces shell Taez, kill one,” AFP, November 30, 2011. Available:
[4] Joseph Logan, “At least 26 injured in new north Yemen fighting,” Reuters, November 30, 2011. Available:
[5] “Madad News Agency Releases Third Report on AQAP's Activities,” SITE Intelligence Group, November 29, 2011. Available at SITE.
[6] “4 Somali soldiers killed after bomber attacks military headquarters in Mogadishu,” AP, November 29, 2011. Available:
Mohamed Ahmed, “Four Killed by Suicide Blast in Somali Capital,” Reuters, November 30, 2011. Available:
[7] “Deadly Bomb blast kills 10 women in Mogadishu,” SONNA, November 30, 2011. Available:
[8] “Rebel group of Shabab cuts legs, hands from two young boys,” Mareeg Online, November 29, 2011. Available:
[9] “SOMALIA: Resettlement of drought-displaced begins,” IRIN, November 29, 2011. Available:
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