Bishkek, April 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the deadly bombing of the Boston marathon, was born in Kyrgyzstan but left the country in 2001, a minister said.
“Only the younger of the two brothers, that is to say Dzhokhar, was born in Kyrgyzstan and was a Kyrgyz citizen,” Joomart Otorbayev, the first deputy prime minister of the former Soviet republic told US State Department officials during a meeting.
The minister said the older of the two brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a car chase and shootout with police, was born in the southern Russian republic of Kalmykia and was a Russian citizen.
“The Tsarnaev family left Kyrgyzstan for Dagestan (in Russia) in 2001, when the brothers were seven and 14, respectively,” Otorbayev said.
The information, however, differs somewhat from reports based on a page on VKontakte, Russia’s answer to Facebook, which bore Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s name and a photo resembling him and said that the page’s author studied in Dagestan from 1999 to 2001.
There has been no confirmation yet that the VKontakte page belonged to the suspected bomber.
Otorbayev also denied suggestions that the brothers’ “radicalization” could have occurred at such an early age, and insisted any acts they may have carried out in the US had nothing to do with their life in Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked, mountainous country that borders China.
Russian officials said Monday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had applied for a replacement of a lost Russian passport in Dagestan in June 2012, but had left the country before he received it. The brothers had reportedly lived in the US for about 10 years before the bombing.
Twenty-six-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in hospital Friday. His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, was captured alive but seriously wounded that same night. They are suspected of having planted two bombs along the course of the Boston marathon that killed three and injured around 180 others April 15.
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