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The Boston Globe


Tsarnaev brothers’ background runs deep into history

The brothers who are suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are ethnic Chechens, but the connection of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the long and bloody conflict in the southern Russian republic is unclear.

Chechnya, a predominantly Muslim region in the Caucasus mountains, on Russia’s southernmost border, has a centuries-­old tradition of defying Moscow’s rule. Lightly armed Chechen separatists who fought off the Russian Army in the mid-1990s often referred to a warrior tradition that lived in every Chechen.

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