BOSTON - The uncle of two men suspected in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing called his nephews "losers" and told the surviving suspect to turn himself in and ask forgiveness.
Ruslan Tsarni spoke to the media outside of his home around 9:35 a.m. MST Friday. He asked his nephew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect who is still on the run, to turn himself in to police.
“Dzhokhar, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the injured, and from those who lived,” Tsarni said when asked what he would say to Dzhokhar.
Tsarni said that his family is stunned by the bombings.
“I’ve been following (reports about the bombings), but I never imagined that the children of my brother would be associated with that,” Tsarni said. “We’re shocked.”
Tsarni said that he had not been in touch with his brother’s family since December 2005. He said that his family “had nothing to do with” the Tsarnaev brothers.
Tsarni also said the family of the suspected bombers felt no ill will toward the U.S. and that their father is not to blame.
“Somebody radicalized them, but it’s not my brother, who just moved back to Russia, who spent his life bringing bread to their table,” Tsarni said. He said their father “had little influence (on) them.”
When asked why he thought the brothers may have set off the bombs, Tsarni said it was because they were “losers” who were unable “to settle themselves” and felt “hatred to those who were able to settle themselves.”
Tsarni said that the alleged actions of his nephews put shame on his family and “on the entire Chechnyan ethnicity.”
“We are ashamed,” Tsarni said.
Tsarni also said that his family identifies as Muslim Chechnyans, but religion had nothing to do with the bombings. However, he said the brothers “had nothing to do with Chechnya” and that the younger Dzhokhar was born in Kyrgystan.
Boston-area police say Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and died Friday morning during a wild car chase and shootout with police.
His heavily armed younger brother Dzhokhar remains at large. Authorities said they have searched 60 to 70 percent of Watertown, Mass., the town where Dzhokhar is believed to be hiding out.
Residents in the area were asked to remain indoors while the hunt continues.