Boston remembers bombing victims

2013-04-22 19:12
Boston crime scene (Picture: AP)

Boston crime scene (Picture: AP)

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Boston - One week after the Boston Marathon bombings, city life edged back to normal on Monday, as the seriously wounded teen suspect remained in hospital with a neck wound, unable to speak.

The victims of last week's twin blasts, which left three dead and 180 others wounded, were to be honoured with a moment of silence at 14:50, to be observed across the north-eastern US city and by President Barack Obama.

"This moment of silence is about giving everyone a peaceful moment to reflect on what happened over the past week and to remember those whose lives will be forever changed," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Federal prosecutors were said to be preparing charges against 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured on Friday after a massive manhunt.

His brother Tamerlan, 26, had been killed in a chaotic overnight shootout with police.

The teenaged suspect, a naturalised Chechen American, was reportedly communicating with investigators in writing due to a severe neck wound.

It was still not clear if that injury came at the hands of police or was self-inflicted in a suicide attempt.

As counter-terrorism agents trained in interrogating "high-value" detainees waited at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre to learn more from Tsarnaev, Bostonians attempted to put the traumatic week behind them.

"We are glad to resume a normal schedule - life has to resume," Halle Kyne, who was walking his 12-year-old daughter to class at the Boston Latin School, not far from the blast sites, told AFP.

Parents of students at the public school were invited to a meeting on Monday on how best to explain the events of the past week to their children.

Ongoing investigations

At the scene of last week's bombings, a six-block area was still sealed off as investigators combed the debris for more clues.

Businesses and restaurants were shuttered, and residents living within the security cordon were forced to find temporary housing.

Signs reading "We are Boston" and "Boston forever" were displayed on sidewalks throughout the area.

"I feel that I've been living in a movie for a week," sushi restaurant owner Chanjuda Bun told AFP. "We were closed three days last week and lost a lot of money - we need to catch up now."

At 14:50, church bells were to ring out across the state of Massachusetts in honour of the three bombings victims and a campus police officer killed in the violent showdown with the Tsarnaev brothers that began late on Thursday. A ceremony honouring first responders, police and other officials was to follow.

Looking for answers

Investigators now are hoping to get answers from Tsarnaev about the brothers' possible motive, and learn whether other attacks were in the works.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said on Sunday that the brothers, who had been living legally in the US for more than a decade, were armed for another attack.

"They had IEDs," Davis said, referring to improvised explosive devices. "They had home-made hand grenades that they were throwing at the officers."

"We have reason to believe... they were going to attack other individuals," Davis added: "This was as dangerous as it gets in urban policing."

He said federal authorities were trying to track down how and where the two suspects obtained firearms and explosive devices.

An M-4 assault rifle was recovered in the boat where Dzhokhar was captured, the New York Times reported.

The brothers also apparently used two handguns and a BB gun in the shootout with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

Public safety

Officials have invoked a "public safety" legal exception that will allow them to question the younger Tsarnaev without reading him his so-called Miranda rights to remain silent and consult a lawyer.

The motive for the attacks remain unclear, and investigators are now probing a six-month trip in 2012 made by Tamerlan to Russia's troubled regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, and whether he was radicalised or trained there.

Tamerlan had begun posting militant videos on social media sites in recent years.

Both Russian regions are home to Islamist and separatist groups, but rebels in Dagestan have denied any link to the Boston bombings.

The elder Tsarnaev was questioned by the FBI, at Moscow's request, in 2011, but apparently was not seen as a threat.

The Tsarnaev family came to the US from the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan around 2002. Dzhokhar became a US citizen in 2012, while Tamerlan's application was reportedly held up due to the FBI questioning.

Read more on:    fbi  |  tamerlan tsarnaev  |  dzhokhar tsarnaev  |  barack obama  |  us  |  russia  |  boston explosions

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