Boston bombs suspect ‘in custody’

The teenage suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has been taken into custody in a suburb of the city, police have said.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (left), 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (left), 26, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19
Gunfire and explosions were heard as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was found hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown.

He had escaped on foot early on Friday after a police shootout that claimed the life of his elder brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Three people died and more than 170 were hurt in Monday’s bombings.

A crowd gathered near the scene cheered as the suspect was arrested on Friday night.

Boston Police Department tweeted: “CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press news agency that the suspect was covered in blood.

Police helicopters buzzed overhead, and bomb squad vans and ambulances were in position around the house in Franklin Street, Watertown.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and more than a dozen explosions, which local television channels speculated could have been flash-bang grenades used by the authorities to disorient the fugitive.

A local resident, Anna Bedirian, told Reuters news agency: “There’s about 50 guys there with machine guns and they all got bulletproof vests on, some of them are holding shields.

“There are a couple of armoured cars and they’re all standing around.”

Friday night’s breakthrough came less than an hour after authorities lifted a city-wide order for residents to stay indoors, and reopened the transport system, as the trail appeared to have gone cold.

Thousands of Swat team officers had scoured the streets all day in a manhunt that virtually shut down the city.

Massachusetts officials had shut down all mass transit and warned close to one million people in Boston and some of its suburbs not to leave their homes.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a college student, had fled on foot following a gun battle that left 200 spent rounds and a car chase in which he and his brother hurled explosives at police, authorities said.

The pair also shot and killed a university policeman and severely wounded another officer late on Thursday, authorities said, hours after the FBI released images of the marathon-bombing suspects.

Law enforcement officials and family members have identified the Tsarnaev brothers as ethnic Chechens who had been living in America for about a decade.

The FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 after a request from a foreign government, US law enforcements officials have confirmed. But agents closed the case after finding no reason for concern.

Monday’s attack killed Martin Richard, aged eight, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Lu Lingzi, 23, a postgraduate student from China.

Earlier on Friday, the father of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said his son was a second-year medical student in the US and was hoping to be a brain surgeon.

Anzor Tsarnaev told the BBC he believed the secret services had framed his sons.

“It was a terrorist attack carefully organised by secret services – I don’t know which ones. My son used to go to a mosque, so they once paid us a visit to ask why he is doing that.

“Yes, there was such an episode. So they put all the blame on him and shot him. That’s it.”

But Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the suspects who lives in Maryland, said he was “ashamed” his nephews’ alleged role in the bombings.

Asked what the bombers’ motives may have been, he replied: “Being losers, hating everyone around them.”

BBCnews

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