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Throat injury may prevent Boston bomber from talking

Washington, April 21, 2013 (IANS): 14:25 IST
Dzhokar Tsarnaev
As US authorities prepared to question the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings to find out the motive for the terror attack they may face an unexpected problem, according to a media report.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, who was captured after a massive manhunt, "has suffered an injury to his throat and may not be able to talk," possibly hindering attempts by authorities to question him, CNN reported citing an unnamed official.

With the older brother Tamerlan, 26, killed in an encounter with the police early Friday morning, authorities believed answers to a motive and whether the brothers had help rested with the younger Tsarnaev.

The surviving suspect was in "serious but stable condition" and "not yet able to communicate yet," Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told reporters Saturday. Federal prosecutors are at the heavily guarded Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, where Tsarnaev is being treated for wounds, CNN said. Authorities have not publicly detailed the injuries sustained by the teen.

"I, and I think all of the law enforcement professionals, are hoping for a host of reasons that the suspect survives, because we have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered. There are parts of the investigation, in terms of information and evidence, that still needs to be run to ground," Patrick said.

Authorities have not said whether they have questioned Tsarnaev, nor have they publicly said what charges will be filed against the teen. But CNN citing an unnamed Justice Department official said the teen will face federal terrorism charges and possibly state murder charges.

The government has invoked the public safety exception, a designation that allows investigators to question the teen without reading him his Miranda rights -- a warning that his statements may be used against him as evidence in court -- and without a lawyer present, the channel said citing a second Justice Department official.

So far, evidence suggests that the two brothers acted alone in the bombings and subsequent shootout, Watertown Police Chief Edward Deveau was quoted as saying.

"From what I know right now, these two acted together and alone," he said Saturday. "I think we have to be ever vigilant, and we're learning as we go along, but as far as this little cell -- this little group -- I think we got our guys."

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