Boston bombers had 6 bombs, rifle, handguns: police chief

Boston, April 20 (IANS) The two Boston Marathon bombing suspects had at least six bombs — three of which exploded, handguns and a rifle when police officers first confronted them in a dark residential street in Watertown, a Boston suburb, police said Saturday.

“A single officer was the first to encounter the two cars that Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev were driving, just before 1 a.m. Friday,” Watertown police chief Edward Deveau told CNN. “Before the officer could get backup, the two cars stopped, and the brothers got out.”

“They jump out of the car and unload on our police officer,” Deveau was quoted as saying. “They both came out shooting — shooting guns, handguns. He’s under direct fire, very close by. He has to jam it in reverse and try to get himself a little distance.”

Five other police officers, including two who had just finished their shifts, then arrived at what Deveau called a “very tight area” in the middle of an intense shootout. One of the officers was shot in the groin.

“We estimate there were over 200 shots fired in a five-to 10-minute period,” Deveau told CNN.

One of the brothers threw an explosive at the officers. They later discovered it was a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the ones used at the Monday’s marathon, where three people were killed and about 180 wounded, the chief said.

While the older brother Tamerlan, 26, was killed in the gunfight, the younger, Dzhokar, 19, was captured Friday night from a boat in a yard of a residential house in suburban Watertown after a massive manhunt that virtually shut down Boston, one of America’s oldest cities.

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