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: Fighting in Zinjibar kills at least 19 people; Yemeni airstrikes kills at least 31 people in Jaar; clashes break out in Taiz; suicide bomber apprehended in Abyan; suicide car bomb in Aden kills six soldiers; security forces injure five protestors in Sana’a

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab distributes food in al Yassir camp; al Shabaab loots food aid in Qoqani; al Shabaab imposes curfew on Afgoi; al Shabaab beheads two men in Mogadishu; al Shabaab releases video of sniper attacks; Malaysian cameraman killed by AMISOM

Yemen Security Brief

  • Fighting in Zinjibar killed at least six soldiers and 13 al Qaeda-linked militants. Militants have abandoned positions in Kod, leaving behind weapons caches, according to military officials. An overnight air raid killed at least ten militants in Zinjibar and a defense ministry official reported that 12 militants were killed in air raids in Shaqra and al Arqub in Abyan.[1]
  • Yemeni airstrikes targeting al Qaeda-linked militants in Jaar killed at least 31 people and injuring 23, at least 12 of those killed are reportedly militants.  Airstrikes hit a government compound, including a militant-controlled hospital, residential areas, and government offices.  One of the strikes mistakenly hit the Grand Mosque in Jaar, killing seven civilians. Militants had taken over Hamza mosque.[2]
  • Tribal sources report that tribesmen in Taiz attacked a Republican Guard checkpoint along Siteen Street. The Republican Guard responded by shelling villages in al Humayra, which is north of the city.[3]
  • Tribesmen captured a suicide bomber in Abyan governorate who claimed he was going to attack a market in Lawder.  The bomber also claimed that there were two more bombers in the city.  He was handed over to the military.[4]
  • A suicide car bomber struck a military checkpoint on the road between Aden and Abyan on September 3. Gunmen stormed the checkpoint after the bomb detonated. Six soldiers were killed and eight others were injured.[5]
  • Five protestors were injured in Sana’a when Yemeni security forces opened fired on an anti-government march as it passed the Foreign Ministry. Sana’a residents have reported the deployment of government tanks and armored vehicles into the capital, along with 2,000 additional Republican Guard troops.[6]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Al Shabaab released a statement detailing its aid activities in al Yassir camp near K50 in Lower Shabelle region. The group claims to have supplied enough food to feed “10,000 children.”[7]
  • Somali officials accused al Shabaab militants of seizing food aid meant for displaced persons in Qoqani in Lower Jubba region.  The rations taken include flour, sugar, and cooking oil.[8]
  • Al Shabaab militants imposed a daytime curfew in the town of Afgoi south of Mogadishu on those displaced by the famine.  The fighters have told businessmen to close and remove all advertisements.[9]
  • Two men, ages 25 and 30, were found decapitated in the al Shabaab-controlled Heliwa district in Mogadishu.  No reason was given for the execution.[10]
  • Al Shabaab released a video, posted on jihadist forums on September 1, which shows footage from several sniper attacks in Somalia as well as recorded speeches from Mustafa Abu al Yazid, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, Abu Omar al Baghdadi, and Abu Hamza al Muhajir.[11]
  • Malaysian cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor was killed and another journalist wounded in Mogadishu when Ugandan AMISOM troops opened fire on the convoy they were traveling in.  The journalists were a part of a humanitarian mission and were being escorted by Somali soldiers.  Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha, AMISOM’s force commander, said, “The facts are very unclear at the moment . . . I have spoken personally to the Somali president about the situation and offered my sincere reassurance that a full investigation is under way and that the appropriate action will be taken against any soldiers found to have acted improperly.” Reports indicate that Malaysia has evacuated 54 Malaysian aid workers from Mogadishu after the incident.[12]

[1] “Yemeni Soldiers, Militants Clash, Killing 19,” Reuters, September 6, 2011. Available:
“Yemen Air Strike Kills 5 Civilians – Military,” Reuters, September 6, 2011. Available:
Ahmed al Haj, “Airstrikes hit Yemeni province seized by militants,” AP, September 5, 2011. Available:
[2] Hakim Almasmari, “31 killed in South Yemen in airstrike,” CNN, September 6, 2011. Available: Ahmed al Haj, “Airstrikes hit Yemeni province seized by militants,” AP, September 5, 2011. Available:
[3] “Yemeni Troops Clash with Tribesmen in Taez,” AFP, September 6, 2011. Available:
[4] “Suicide Bomber Apprehended in South Yemen,” Yemen Post, September 6, 2011. Available:
[5] Hakim Almasmari, “Six killed in car bomb explosion in Yemen,” CNN, September 4, 2011. Available:
[6] Hakim Almasmari, “Tensions Rising in Yemen; Pro-Government Gunmen Gather Outside Capital,” CNN, September 4, 2011. Available:
[7] “Alshabab Gradual Feeding Program Nourishes 10,000 Children in k- 50 Camp,” Mareeg Online, September 4, 2011. Available:,000-children-in-k--50-camp&sid=20950&tirsan=3
[8] “Militant group faulted for looting food aid in Qoqani, Lower Jubba,” Radio Bar-Kulan, September 6, 2011. Available:
[9] “Somalia: Al Shabaab impose curfew in Afgoye corridor for IDPs,” Shabelle Media Network, September 5, 2011. Available:
[10] “Two beheaded bodies discovered in war torn Mogadishu,” Shabelle Media Network, September 5, 2011. Available:
[11] “Shabaab Video Focuses on Sniper Attacks in Somalia,” SITE Intelligence Group, September 2, 2011. Available at SITE.
[12] Mohammed Ibrahim and Jeffrey Gettleman, “Peacekeepers in Somalia Fire on Car, Leaving a Journalist Dead,” New York Times, September 3, 2011. Available:
“Malaysia Evacuates Its Aid Workers from Somalia,” Mareeg Online, September 5, 2011. Available:
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