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Queens Chronicle

SECOND BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECT CAUGHT; BROTHER DEAD

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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 10:05 am | Updated: 4:16 pm, Mon Apr 22, 2013.

UPDATES

The suspect reportedly has been captured alive. That news broke at around 8:45 p.m.

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A series of explosions occurred in the back yard of a home at 67 Franklin Ave. in Watertown, Mass. at about 7:50 p.m., media reported. The blasts occurred after police sent a bomb-seeking robot into the yard, where it is believed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnayev, 19, is holed up in a tarp-covered boat.

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Rapid gunfire was heard about 7 p.m. in Watertown, Mass. as police closed in on a location in a residential neighborhood, media in the area said. Several outlets reported that a person who left his house after authorities lifted an order to stay inside saw blood near a shed, the door of which was open, and notified authorities.

An estimated 20 to 30 shots were fired and then the area went quiet. Media then started reporting that the suspect, Dzhokar Tsarnayev, 19, was cornered in a boat in the man's backyard. As of 7:40 p.m., they were saying Tsarnayev is wounded but alive and refuses to come out.

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One suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing was shot dead by police last night and the other is still being sought by police, according to media reports, as the situation changes minute by minute.

The two suspects are Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnayev, brothers from Chechnya, a largely Islamic province of Russia that has been a breeding ground for terrorists fighting the government in Moscow and alongside allied radicals in places such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Tamerlan Tsarnayev, 26, was killed by police last night after the brothers allegedly murdered an officer sitting in his squad car, carjacked a sport utility vehicle and led the authorities on a wild chase during which they reportedly let loose with firearms and explosives that may have included hand grenades, homemade bombs or both. The elder Tsarnayev was slain in Watertown, Mass.

Dzhokar Tsarnayev, 19, escaped and was on the run this morning. The authorities locked down Boston, Watertown and other areas as they searched for him. At around 9 a.m. today, the media were reporting that police had closed in on a home at which shots were fired. They could not definitively say if the shots were fired inside the home or at it by the authorities. There was speculation that the suspect may have fired at police or that he may have killed himself as they closed in, but none of that could be confirmed as of this writing.

Hours later, the authorities were still searching for the younger Tsarnayev.

The brothers' motives in allegedly placing two bombs near the end of the marathon route Monday, killing an 8-year-old boy and two young women, as well as maiming nearly 200 other people, many severely, were not clear. But their uncle gave at least one interview in which he said they had become radical Islamists and were losers who should never have been born. Their father, reached by the media in Russia, reportedly said his younger son is an accomplished medical student and "an angel."

One of the brothers reportedly had said on a social media web page that he had no American friends and did not understand Americans.

The Boston bombing has demonstrated, however, that initial media reports are not always reliable. There were reports soon after the attack that said a Saudi student who had been injured in one of the blasts was under arrest in a Boston hospital, but those proved to be incorrect. Then on Wednesday a number of outlets said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had made arrests, and the authorities responded by saying it had not. 

On Thursday the FBI released photos of the Tsarnayev brothers and announced they were the real suspects. It was sometime later that they allegedly robbed the store, starting the chain of events that has left one of them dead, a police officer murdered, at least one other officer wounded and much of the Boston area on lockdown. Residents have been told to stay in their homes, businesses have been told to remain closed and subway and taxi service have been suspended.

How long the brothers have been in the United States is also unclear. Some outlets were saying Friday morning that sources said they had been here for only a year or two, while others said they had been here for more than 10 years, their family having come to the country seeking asylum. There has been violence between Chechen separatists and the Russian government for years, with the Chechen capital of Grozny suffering heavy bombardment ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and radical Chechens carrying out terror attacks against Moscow including an attack on a school that resulted in the deaths of nearly 400 people, half of them children.

UPDATE

This article was changed to reflect the fact that hours after media reports said police had surrounded a building where the younger Tsarnayev brother may have been hiding, he still has not been found.

It also was changed after police announced that the Tsarnayev brothers were not responsible for a convenience store robbery that occurred around the time they killed a police officer.

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