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WASHINGTON — The uncle of two suspected Boston Marathon bombers described the young men as “losers’’ and suggested they had trouble assimilating in the United States after their father brought them to Cambridge in early 2003.

Asked by reporters outside his suburban Maryland home why brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev would have planted bombs near the finish line, Ruslan Tsarni said his nephews were not radical Muslims or militant Chechens, although he said he had little or no contact with them for the last eight years.

He attributed their actions to “being losers, not being able to settle themselves, and thereby just hating everyone who did,’’ Ruslan Tsarni said.


He said the boys’ father fixed cars for a living and brought the family to seek asylum in the United States. But he said his brother “had little influence over’’ the two young men. He said the boys were born in Kyrgyzstan, where many Chechen families moved as refugees after fleeing war in their home territory.

Tsarni suggested there had been a falling out between his family and his brother’s family years ago but said the reasons were personal: “I just wanted my family to be away from them.’’

“We have not been in touch with that family for a number of years. They never lived [in Maryland] – the last time I saw them was December 2005,’’ he said.

Ruslan Tsarni said he had been monitoring news of the bombings, like most Americans, but was stunned to learn Friday morning from the Internet that authorities said his nephews were responsible, that one was dead and that a massive manhunt was under way for the other.

“I have been following this, but would never, ever imagine that somehow the children of my brother would be associated with that — it is atrocity,’’ he said, in heavily Russian-accented English. “We’re shocked.’’


He said Dzhokhar — known as Suspect Number 2, with the white hat, who was still at large and the subject of a massive manhunt on Friday — “put shame on the Tsarnaev’s family. He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity.’’

He added, to “those who suffered, we are sharing with them their grief. I am ready just to meet with them. I just am ready to bend in front of them. I am ready to kneel in front of them, seeking their forgiveness.’’

Christopher Rowland can be reached at crowland@globe.com.