Two Chechen brothers who are suspects in the bombing that killed three people and injured scores more during the Boston Marathon earlier this week are not the only members of their family to have immigrated to North America.
The Toronto Sun reports that their aunt, Maret Tsarnaev, is living in Etobicoke – a neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end. Tsarnaev spoke with the Sun and told them that her family could not believe the boys were accused of being terrorists.
“This is a huge tragedy for the family,” Tsarnaev, 45, told the newspaper. “My brother’s two boys, they are growing up so fast. My first reaction is, ‘Why the hell would they do this?’ But when I go through all the material, it’s not giving anything … the whole world is now making a decision (on them) now by just seeing these pictures and not having anything else.”
[ The Lookout: Boston manhunt: One suspect dead, second on the run ]
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, and Tamerlan, 26, were named as suspects by Boston police on Thursday. The pair reportedly led area police on a fatal chase through Boston and its suburbs through the night.
Yahoo! News reporter Liz Goodwin reports that Boston residents were ordered to remain in their homes Friday morning as police conducted a massive manhunt in search of the suspects.
The manhunt follows a night of chaos, in which the brothers led police on a chase through the city and suburbs. One police officer was killed and another was reportedly injured in the melee.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was also confirmed dead on Friday. According to NBC News, he was found with an IED on his body. Officials have identified the remaining suspect as his brother Dzhokhar. He is believed to still be on the loose.
[ The Lookout: Gunman kills police officer at MIT in Boston ]
CBS News reports that the boys’ uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who said the boys immigrated to the Boston area around 2001. He said he hasn’t been in touch with the boys since 2009 and believes their parents moved back to Russia. He called Tamerlan a “loser.”
“He deserved his. He absolutely deserved his,” Tsarni told CBC News. “They do not deserve to live on this earth.”
Their aunt in Canada, however, had fonder words to share on the brothers, saying that Dzhokhar was studying math in school and that Tamerlan may have dropped out when his daughter was born two years ago.
“These two boys, all they must have in their heads at this age is love… I cannot believe Tamerlan is dead. This cannot be true,” she told the Toronto Sun.