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: Two soldiers injured in Southern Movement protest; security official denies AQAP’s success and Yemeni Foreign Minister says no international force operating in Yemen

Horn of Africa: Somali police foil suicide attack on Mogadishu seaport; five Somali troops killed, two others injured in separate roadside bombings; Puntland president offers to mediate dispute between Somali president and prime minister; al Shabaab, Hizb al Islam leaders vow more attacks; al Shabaab claims success in Ramadan offensive; one soldier killed, two others wounded in Waberi district; weekend clashes in Galgala leave ten civilians dead; Hizb al Islam seizes control of Lafole, destroys graves and homes

Yemen Security Brief

  • Southern Movement demonstrators wounded two Yemeni soldiers in Abyan governorate Sunday.  The soldiers were shot while trying to end a protest in al Ain, about eight kilometers south of the town of Lawder.[1]

  • A Yemeni security official denied al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s claim that it has achieved “a state for the mujahidin” in the town of Lawder in Abyan governorate.  He said, “Our security services are engaging in open war against terrorist elements and are achieving remarkable success.”  Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al Qirbi also denied reports that international forces are operating in Yemen, calling such reports “inaccurate media leaks.”[2]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Somali police asserted that they had thwarted a suicide attack by al Shabaab militants on the Mogadishu seaport Saturday, according to port police officer Abdullahi Abdi. Abdi described the attack saying that a gunman forced the driver of a petrol tanker to run the port’s entrance checkpoint.  Government troops then opened fire on the tanker.  Abdi stated, “This was a clear potential suicide attack. He wanted to ram the tanker into the seaport and blow his explosives.”  The gunman was carrying a bag of explosives.[3]

  • A roadside bomb killed five Somali soldiers Saturday, according to the police. “The five soldiers were killed when a bomb placed on a well-traveled road in the Waberi neighborhood exploded,” a local police officer said.  A second bomb injured two other Somali soldiers Saturday in Hamar Weyne district of Mogadishu, security officials said.[4]

  • Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole volunteered to mediate the ongoing dispute over the recently issued constitution between Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.[5]

  • Al Shabaab leader Sheikh Abu Zubair, also known as Ahmed Abdi Godane, called on militants to redouble their attacks against Somali government troops and AMISOM peacekeepers in a recently released audio tape.  He said, “The clashes in Mogadishu that al-Shabaab carries out is against our enemy; Somali government backed by the A.U.  I appeal to the people to join war against TFG.”  Hizb al Islam leader, Sheikh Dahir Aweys, urged AMISOM peacekeepers to leave the country.[6]

  • Al Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamed Rage said that al Shabaab was successful in its Ramadan offensive.  He added that the group would continue to fight against the TFG and AMISOM forces.[7]

  • Fighting between government forces and militants in parts of the Waberi district in Mogadishu killed one TFG soldier and injured two others, according to witnesses.  Residents said that the clash began at the Suka Berta market in Waberi district.[8]

  • Weekend clashes in Galgala between Puntland security forces and Mohamed Said Atom’s militants have left ten civilians dead and others wounded. Witnesses said that the clashes have ended as of Monday and that calm has returned to the village.[9]

  • Hizb al Islam militants seized control of Lafole and desecrated at least 50 graves in the process, witnesses said Monday. Residents of the village also said that militants destroyed IDP camps in the area.[10]

[1] “Armed Rebels Injure Two Soldiers in South Yemen,” AFP, September 12, 2010.  Available:
[2] “Yemeni forces achieve remarkable success against al Qaeda,” Saba Net, September 13, 2010. Available:
[3] “Somali troops foil seaport suicide attack,” Reuters, September 12, 2010. Available:
[4] “Five Somali soldiers killed in bomb blast,” AFP, September 12, 2010. Available:
[5] “Puntland president says he would mediate Sharif and Sharma’arke,” Shabelle Media Network, September 12, 2010. Available:
[6] “al Shabaab and Hizb al Islam leaders vow more attacks,” Garowe Online, September 12, 2010. Available:
[7] “Spokesman: We Reached Success During the Clashes in Ramadan in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, September 11, 2010.  Available:
[8] “Confrontation kills a soldier, injures two soldiers in Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, September 13, 2010. Available:
[9] “Calm returns to Galgala village in Puntland,” Shabelle Media Network, September 13, 2010. Available:
[10] “Hizb al Islam wipes out 50 graves, IDP houses in Lafole,” Mareeg Online, September 13, 2010. Available:
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