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Boston blasts: Uncle of bombing suspects says it shames family

An uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects on Friday said the brothers had brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2013 07:43 IST
Boston Marathon bombing,bombing suspects,twin blasts

An uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects on Friday said the brothers had brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity.

Ruslan Tsarni, 42, also told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was not completely shocked when he learned that the older brother was named as a suspect in Monday's deadly bombing.

"It's not a surprise about him," he said. "The younger one, that's something else."

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, brothers who had lived in the region of Dagestan, which neighbors the region of Chechnya in southern Russia.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a 26-year-old who was seen in surveillance footage released Thursday by the FBI in a black baseball cap, was killed overnight in a shootout with police, officials said.

His brother, a 19-year-old college student, escaped but was taken into custody later Friday after hiding in a boat in someone's backyard. He was seen wearing a white baseball cap in the images from the bombing near the marathon finish line.

Three were killed and dozens wounded in the attack.

The brothers had been in the U.S. for about a decade and lived near Boston. Tsarni said he had not seen them since he visited them in December 2005.

He said the older brother, Tamerlan, had become a devout Muslim about seven or eight years ago.

"When I was speaking to the older one, he started all this religious talk, 'Insh'allah' and all that, and I asked him, 'Where is all that coming from?'" Tsarni told reporters outside his Maryland home.

Tsarni said his nephews had struggled to settle themselves in the U.S. and ended up "thereby just hating everyone."

Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, Tsarni said: "Being losers, hatred to those who were able to settle themselves. These are the only reasons I can imagine of. Anything else, anything else to do with religion, with Islam, it's a fraud, it's a fake."

He later said he was not calling his nephews losers. "I'm saying those who are able to make this atrocity are only losers."

Chechnya has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency. Tsarni, who described himself as Muslim, vehemently denied that Chechnya or Islam had anything to do with the attack.

Tsarni said his brother left the U.S. and he had not talked to him since 2009. He said they had a personal falling out but did not elaborate.

"If somebody radicalized them ... it's not my brother, who just moved back to Russia. Who spent his life bringing bread to that table, fixing cars."

Tsarni offered his condolences to the victims.

"We're sharing with them their grief. I'm ready just to meet with them. I'm ready just to bend in front of them, to kneel in front of them, seeking that forgiveness."

First Published: Apr 20, 2013 07:30 IST