Boston bombing probe: Grand jury indicts 2 on obstruction charges

BOSTON (Reuters) - A grand jury on Thursday indicted two students from Kazakhstan on obstruction of justice charges for helping the accused Boston Marathon bombers to hide evidence after the April attack that killed three people and injured 264, the United States Attorney's office for Massachusetts said on its official Twitter feed.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19, were college friends of surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

They are charged with removing a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop from Tsarnaev’s dorm room after the Federal Bureau of Investigation released pictures of Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan in an effort to learn the names of the bombers.

The pair were first charged on May 1 with conspiracy and remain in federal custody. They could face up to 20 years inprison on obstruction of justice charges, in addition to five years' jail if convicted on conspiracy charges.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a gun battle with police following the release of the images while Dzhokhar, 20, is in federal custody awaiting trial on charges that could bring the death penalty.