In one of the most compelling moments of a harrowing day, Montgomery Village, Md., resident Ruslan Tsarni, uncle of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers, lashed out at his nephews in an emotional press conference — and defended his family and their Chechen ethnicity.
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The suspects have been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown, Mass. in the early hours of Friday morning; and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, currently believed to be at large.
“Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness,” Tsarni said, reported the Associated Press.
Asked if the brothers had ever been caught up in the fighting in Chechnya, Tsarni replied, “No, they’ve never been in Chechnya, they have nothing to do with Chechnya. Chechens are different. Chechens are peaceful people.”
Asked what he thought provoked the bombings, an agitated 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.”
Twitter almost immediately lit up with comments: