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Boston bomber captured

Boston bomber captured
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Boston (IANS): The massive manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings ended Friday night with the dramatic capture of Dzhokar...

bos2Boston (IANS): The massive manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings ended Friday night with the dramatic capture of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, after a 23-hour search that had completely shut down Boston. Announcing the arrest on Twitter, Boston police tweeted: "CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who escaped an overnight shootout with police that left his older brother Tamerlan, 26, dead, was cornered late on Friday as he was hiding on a boat in a backyard of Watertown, a suburb of Boston. The two brothers are reportedly from Chechnya, the disputed Muslim region of Russia. The younger Tsarnaev came to the US as a tourist with his family in the early 2000s.

He became a naturalised US citizen in 2012. Tamerlan came "a few years later" and was lawfully in the US as a green-card holder. The younger Tsarnaev was in serious condition, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a news conference. He was being treated at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre hospital spokesperson Kelly Lawman said.

According to Davis, police were alerted to his whereabouts by a man who went outside after authorities lifted an order for residents to stay inside during the manhunt. A The resident saw blood on a boat in the backyard, Davis said. He then lifted up the tarp covering the boat and "saw a man covered with blood," he said. "There was an exchange of gunfire, and I don't know if he was struck," Davis said of the suspect.

Authorities, using a bullhorn, had called on the suspect to surrender: "Come out with your hands up." But Tsarnaev refused to surrender. "We used a robot to pull the tarp off the boat," David Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police was quoted as saying by CNN. "We were also watching him with a thermal imaging camera in our helicopter. He was weakened by blood loss -- injured last night most likely,"

President Barack Obama vowed to find out the motives behind Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and left about 180 injured in the first major terror attack on American soil after 9/11.

"Obviously, tonight, there are still many unanswered questions," Obama said even as he declared that "We've closed an important chapter in this tragedy." He also spoke by phone on Friday night with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who "expressed his condolences on behalf of the Russian people" for the Boston terror victims, according to a White House statement.

Focus on restive North CaucasusA

Moscow: As US investigators hunt for evidence about the Boston bombing suspects, some of their questions will focus on Russia's restive North Caucasus, including the war-scarred Chechnya region that has produced a number of militant groups. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan hailed from the republic in the mid-1990s.

Known for deadly bombings and hostage-takings, the North Caucasus rebel movement dates back to the early 1990s when Chechnya attempted to break away from Moscow's rule.

Initially, the movement was a secular, separatist effort. After a botched and brutal military campaign by Russian troops in 1994-1996, the republic gained de facto independence, but quickly descended into chaotic failed-state status. Local Islamist warlords began openly challenging the secular rule of President Aslan Maskhadov, elected after the cease-fire with Moscow. In the second half of the 1990s, numerous reports and investigations pointed to ties between the Chechen rebels and a global jihadist effort, including future members of Al Qaeda.

Moscow's second war with Chechnya began after Islamist militants from the republic invaded Dagestan in August 1999. It took a couple of years for the federal government to quash the insurgents by allying with several powerful Chechen strongmen.

The son of one of them, Ramzan Kadyrov, is currently Chechnya's leader and has been instrumental in helping Moscow establish control over the republic and keep the remaining Islamist fighters on the run.A There have been no proven reports about the involvement of fighters from the North Caucasus in terrorist attacks in the A West. (IANS)

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