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: Mortar fire kills two people in Sana’a; air strike kills at least ten AQ-linked militants; UN envoy leaves Yemen; Yemeni Foreign Minister returns to Yemen

Horn of Africa: Blast in Mogadishu kills at least 65 people; al Shabaab attacks Dhusa Mareb; Bakara Market to reopen

Yemen Security Brief

  • Fighting between soldiers loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and defected First Armored Division soldiers killed two civilians and wounded six others. A doctor reported that the civilians died from injuries from a mortar round that was fired into a market on Hayel Street in Sana’a. Local residents report that gunfire was heard along the street as well.  Medics and residents in Taiz also reported that random shelling of the city center by Republican Guard troops wounded three civilians.[1]
  • A Yemeni airstrike killed at least ten al Qaeda-linked militants in Jaar in Abyan governorate. A shoot-out between Yemeni soldiers and al Qaeda-linked militants killed three more militants and one soldier in Zinjibar.[2]  
  • Jamal Benomar, a UN envoy, was quoted by SABA, Yemen’s state news agency, as stating that, “There is a limit to Yemenis' patience, and the responsibility to break this stalemate and put Yemen on the path to peaceful transition, reform and recovery rests on the shoulders of all the Yemeni leadership.” UN diplomats said that a proposal to end the conflict will be drawn up if negotiations in Sana’a proved to be unsuccessful.[3]
  • Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi returned to Yemen after conducting meetings with the World Bank, the UN, and top U.S. officials. Al Qirbi discussed ongoing efforts to implement the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and aid development in Yemen.[4]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • A suicide car bomb exploded in the K4 district of Mogadishu outside of a compound housing four government ministries were students were sitting for exams.  The blast killed at least 65 people and wounded over fifty others.  Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was targeting the ministries.[5]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked the town of Dhusa Mareb in the Galgudud region, pushing the pro-government militia Ahlu Sunna wa al Jama’a out of most of the town and capturing the administrative buildings and military bases.  After a few hours, Ahlu Sunna counter-attacked and retook the town.  Locals report that the fighting was intense and both sides used heavy artillery.  At least five people were killed and seven injured.[6]
  • The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has ordered Bakara Market in Mogadishu to reopen.  The market has been closed since al Shabaab left the city.  It was a major source of funds for the militant group.  Abdikarim Guled, deputy minister of interior and national security, set the date of the reopening as next Thursday.  He said, “Any person who does not reinstall his business on that date will lose his rights and will never be allowed doing business activity in the market.”[7]  

[1]“Fighting, airstrike kill 16 in Yemen,” Reuters, October 4, 2011. Available:
“Shelling ‘Kills two civilians in Yemen capital,’” AFP, October 4, 2011. Available:
[2] “Fighting, airstrike kill 16 in Yemen,” Reuters, October 4, 2011. Available:
[3] Erika Solomon, “U.N. envoy leaves Yemen to brief Security Council,” Reuters, October 4, 2011. Available:
[4] “FM Returns Home,” SABA News Agency, October 3, 2011. Available:
[5] Abdi Sheikh and Mohamed Ahmed, “Rebels kill scores in Somali capital blast,” Reuters, October 4, 2011. Available:
[6] “Al shabaab confiscates parts of Dhusamreb in central Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, October 3, 2011. Available:
“Somalia: Ahlu Sunna retakes control in central Somalia town,” Shabelle Media Network, October 4, 2011. Available:
[7] Mohamed Shiil, “Somalia orders merchants to resume business at Bakaara market,” All Headline News, October 3, 2011. Available:
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