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: AQAP militants attack al Houthi gunmen in al Bayda; al Houthi gunmen capture city in Ibb; Ansar al Sharia militants retake city in Ibb; al Houthi militants storm the governor of Sana’a’s home in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: AMISOM forces kill five suspected al Shabaab militants near Ethiopian border in Kenya; suspected al Shabaab militants behead civilian in Lower Shabelle region; armed militias attack AMISOM forces in Hiraan region; unidentified gunman assassinates security officer in Mudug region

Yemen Security Brief

  • Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants detonated a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) near an al Houthi gathering in Rada’a, al Bayda on October 19. At least 20 al Houthis were killed in the bombing and in subsequent clashes. Separately, Ansar al Sharia militants abducted 12 al Houthi gunmen and posted a video on YouTube showing the beheading of an al Houthi prisoner on October 19.[1]
  • Al Houthi militants destroyed the home of an al Islah Party politician in Yarim, Ibb on October 18, leading to clashes which left 12 people dead. The al Houthis later seized control of Yarim, which lies approximately 170 kilometers south of Sana’a, on October 19. The police chief of Ibb resigned shortly after.[2]
  • Ansar al Sharia militants retook the city of Udain, Ibb on October 20, after temporarily seizing control of the city on October 16.[3]
  • Al Houthi militants stormed and occupied multiple government buildings in Sana’a, including the governor’s home, on October 19, forcing the governor to resign. This comes despite the signing of a ceasefire deal in which the al Houthis agreed to leave Sana’a after the appointment of a new Prime Minister.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Kenyan African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) killed five al Shabaab militants and confiscated a car containing six suicide vests and other explosives near the Ethiopian border in Dolo in Kenya’s Eastern Province on October 18. Kenyan security forces reportedly recovered 100 kg of explosive materials.[5]
  • Suspected al Shabaab militants beheaded an elder civilian in Barawe, Lower Shabelle region on October 17. Reports indicated that the targeted killing was retribution for the elder’s previous meetings with Somali Federal Government officials in the area.[6]
  • Armed local militias and hundreds of protestors attacked Djiboutian AMISOM peacekeepers near Beledweyne, Hiraan region on October 19, resulting in an unknown number of casualties. Protestors provoked the exchange of fire to reportedly prevent peacekeepers from stabilizing clan tensions in the area.[7]
  • An unidentified gunman shot and killed a local security officer in Galkayo, Mudug region on October 19. The suspect successfully fled the scene after the incident.[8]

[1] “Qaeda kills 20 Shiite rebels in fresh Yemen clashes,” Yahoo News, October 20, 2014. Available:
Pro AQAP Twitter Account, October 19, 2014
AQAP YouTube video, October 10, 2014
[2] “Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Take Town South of Capital,” ABC News, October 10, 2014. Available:
“Houthis, Sunni supporters clash in central Yemen,” Reuters, October 18, 2014. Available:
[3] “Yemen’s Shiite Rebels Take Town South of Capital,” ABC News, October 10, 2014. Available:
“Houthis, Sunni supporters clash in central Yemen,” Reuters, October 18, 2014. Available:
“Al-Qaeda militants in control again Udayn Houthis and their control ofer the Yarim rule and a state of tension taking place in Ibb,” al Masdar, October 20, 2014 [Arabic]. Available:
[4] “Fighting greets arrival of Yemen’s new PM,” al Jazeera, October 19, 2014. Available:
“Yemen’s Houthis push south into Ibb,” al Jazeera, October 20, 2014. Available:
[5] Tom Odula, “Kenya: 5 Suspected Bombers Killed,” Associated Press, October 19, 2014. Available:
“KDF engage with Al shabaab Militants in a shoot out on Saturday night leaving 5 terrorists dead,” Standard Digital, October 19, 2014. Available:
[6] “SOMALIA: Suspected Al Shabab militia salughters 70-yrs old man who met President Mohamud in Barawe,” RBC Radio, October 17, 2014. Available: 
[7] Beledweyne: AMISOM troops open fire to disperse protesters,” Goobjoog news, October 19, 2014. Available:
“Somalia: Residents Protest against AU Peacekeepers,” Horseed Media, October 19, 2014. Available:
[8] “SOMALIA: Security officer shot dead in southern Galkayo town,” RBC Radio, October 19, 2014. Available:
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