MOGADISHU, Somalia — The al-Shabab stronghold of Barawe, a coastal town in Somalia where U.S. Navy SEALs came ashore in a failed raid last weekend, is gripped by fear and tension as residents worry they’ll be accused of spying and the insurgents prepare for another attack.

Foreign fighters and Somali members of al-Shabab have in recent years moved into the town as African Union peacekeeping troops and Somali government forces pushed the Islamic insurgent group from Somalia’s capital and other areas. Saturday’s pre-dawn raid by the American commandoes was aimed at a Kenyan al-Shabab member named as a planner of terrorist attacks. Since the SEAL raid, more al-Shabab battle wagons – pickup trucks mounted with machine guns or recoilless rifles – can be seen prowling the streets.

Most of the residents of Barawe rely on fishing and small businesses for income. Al-Shabab maintains strict control of the activities of local residents who are told to close shops and other businesses to attend the five daily Muslim prayers at mosques. The insurgents also require women to wear Islamic dress that covers the whole body except for the face or eyes.

Residents said that after the SEAL raid on a seaside villa, al-Shabab fighters detained several people on suspicion of spying, an allegation that often leads to public executions without any meaningful judicial process.

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