Sunday, December 08, 2013 1:20 PM
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2013
By Holden Wilen and Donna Broadway
GAITHERSBURG - Calling his nephews "losers" the uncle of the two men accused of bombing the Boston Marathon came out on his lawn in Montgomery Village Friday morning, denounced the bombings and said his heart went out to the victims.
"I can never imagine that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with (an attack) so it is an atrocity,” Ruslan Tsarni said to a large group of reporters gathered in front of his hom. “We're devastated; we're shocked. I don't know – this family doesn't know – how to share that grief with the real victims.”
The appearance in an impromptu news conference occurred hours after news outlets in Boston identified the Gaithersburg man as the uncle of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
After the FBI released photos of the two suspects Thursday, police in Boston engaged in a running gun battle with the two men before the older brother, Tamerlan, 26, was killed by police. Dzhokhar, 19, was apprehended Friday evening in Watertown, Mass., after hiding in a boat while the city of Boston was locked down during an extensive manhunt. In the days since, he has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Tsarni repeatedly expressed grief for the victims and urged his nephew to turn himself in.
“Turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured and from those who died,” Tsarni said. “Ask forgiveness from these people. (Dzhokhar) put a shame on our family. He put a shame on the entire Chechens ethnicity because now everyone blames Chechens. They shamed the entire ethnicity.”
Tsarni told reporters of his love for the United States. He said neither of his two nephews, as far as he knew, had any military training.
However, he also said had hadn't seen his nephews since 2005 but he would try to talk to his brother until after he finished speaking with reporters. His brother does not live in the United States.