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: Yemen’s ruling party suggests changes to deal; fighting kills eight Yemeni soldiers in Abyan; airstrikes kill three militants in Shaqra

Horn of Africa: TFG forces seize IEDs; al Shabaab using wildlife for target practice; Puntland government presents al Shabaab prisoners; al Shabaab captures two Kenyan soldiers; al Shabaab attacks TFG forces in south; Somali soldier kills six civilians in Mogadishu; al Shabaab distributes syllabus to schools under its control

Yemen Security Brief

  • The General People’s Congress (GPC) proposed amendments to the transition deal granting President Ali Abdullah Saleh 90 days instead of 30 days to transfer power to Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi. Opposition forces are said to meet to review the proposed changes.[1]
  • Eight soldiers and 17 al Qaeda militants were killed in clashes in the Abyan governorate. Yemeni airstrikes targeted suspected militant positions in a high school, hotel, residential buildings, and police station in Jaar. Yemen’s defense ministry reported that the bodies of 14 militants were found along the road to Kod.[2]
  • Three al Qaeda militants were killed in an airstrike in the coastal town of Shaqra, east of Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Al Qaeda militants seized Shaqra last month.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

  • Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces seized improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas of Mogadishu formerly occupied by al Shabaab.  Adam Kalmoy, Somalia army spokesperson, said that the army was informed that there were explosives present in some homes in the Banadir neighborhood.  He went on to warn the civilian population not to return to areas occupied by al Shabaab until cleared by TFG forces.[4]
  • Al Shabaab militants are using local wildlife to train with both firearms and grenades.  Dozens of animals have been killed this way.[5]
  • Puntland police presented 18 people captured during recent fighting in Galkayo whom they claim to be al Shabaab militants.  Several of those shown were captured in a house in the Garsoor neighborhood of the city while the others were captured over the course of the fighting that took place September 1 through September 3.[6]
  • Al Shabaab claims to have captured two Kenyan soldiers near the shared border of Kenya and Somalia.  Al Shabaab posted on a commonly used website that the two were on a reconnaissance mission outside the town of Dhobley.[7]
  • Al Shabaab militants attacked a TFG base outside Luq in the Gedo region.  Both sides used small arms and artillery.  At least three were wounded during the course of the fight.  Diyal Abdi Kalil, an officer with the TFG military, said that TFG forces were attacked and defending themselves.  He went on to say that al Shabaab militants had set up a number of checkpoints around the city to illegally collect money from civilians.[8]
  • A Somali soldier guarding food aid in the Waberi neighborhood in Mogadishu opened fire on those lined up to receive the aid, killing six and wounding at least one other.  Surrounding soldiers took him into custody; there was no reason given as to why he opened fire.[9]
  • Al Shabaab distributed a standardized Arabic syllabus to schools in the port city Kismayo to teach to students.  The group banned all other syllabi from being taught.[10]

[1] “Update 1-Yemen Ruling Party Proposes Transfer Plan Changes,” Reuters, September 7, 2011. Available:
[2] “8 Soldiers, 17 Militants Killed in Yemen Clashes, Wounded Civilians Unable to Reach Hospital,” AP, September 7, 2011. Available:
[3] “Update 1-Yemen Ruling Party Proposes Transfer Plan Changes,” Reuters, September 7, 2011. Available:
[4] “Somali military seizes explosive devices in Mogadishu,” Mareeg Online, September 7, 2011. Available:
[5] “Somalia: Animals under fire and drastic drought impacts,” Mareeg Online, September 8, 2011. Available:
[6] “Somalia: Puntland presents '18 Al Shabaab prisoners' from Galkayo counterterrorism operations,” Garowe Online, September 8, 2011. Available:
[7] “Somali militants captured 2 Kenyan soldiers,” Shabelle Media Network, September 8, 2011. Available:
[8] “Govt forces, Al shabaab battle in southern Somalia,” Shabelle Media Network, September 8, 2011. Available:
[9] “Somali soldier kills six civilians in Mogadishu shooting spree,” Shabelle Media Network, September 8, 2011. Available:
[10] “Somali militants order schools to teach Arabic,” Reuters, September 7, 2011. Available:
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