US grand jury indicts Boston bomb suspect

Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Picture: Getty
Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Picture: Getty
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A GRAND jury in the United States last night indicted alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on charges of killing four people and using homemade bombs.

The 19-year-old is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use, resulting in death.

Three people, including an eight-year-old boy, were killed and more than 260 injured in twin explosions near the finish line of the marathon in April.

Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed following a shoot-out with police a few days after the bombing.

Authorities say the brothers used shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs. They are also accused of later killing a police officer.

The US attorney’s office said 17 of the charges against the younger Tsarnaev, who was born in Chechnya but lived in the US, could bring life in prison or the death penalty. The full indictment includes 30 criminal counts.

The brothers allegedly set off the home-made bombs amid a crowd of more than 5,000 people at the finish line.

They are then said to have laid low for three days until 18 April, when the FBI released photos of the suspects, hoping the public could identify them.

That night, police say the pair set out with five improvised explosive devices, a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, a hunting knife and a machete.

They say they used the weapons in a gun battle with police in Watertown, Massachusetts, which is outside Boston, and that Dzhokhar ran over 26-year-old Tamerlan with a car during the escape.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was badly injured in that gun battle, has been held in a prison hospital west of Boston since his capture on 19 April.