Boston Manhunt : Bombings suspects innocent, says father

MOSCOW (AFP) - Two brothers of Chechen origin suspected of staging the Boston Marathon bombings, one of whom was shot dead by police on Friday, are innocent of any crime, the Interfax news agency quoted a man identified as their father as saying.

"In my opinion, my children were set up by the secret services because they are practising Muslims," Anzor Tsarnaev told the Interfax news agency from the North Caucasus Russian city of Makhachkala.

Anzor Tsarnaev is the father of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was shot dead by police in Boston, and his 19-year-old brother and co-suspect Dzhokhar, who remains on the run in the area, Interfax said.

"Why did they kill Tamerlan? They should have taken him alive," said the father.

He added that the younger brother Dzhokhar "is in hiding. He was a second-year student in a medical university. We were waiting for him to come back (to Russia) for the holidays." "Now I do not know what will happen," he said.

The two brothers identified themselves as Muslim on their respective social media websites, with the older brother Tamerlan posting links to YouTube videos showing people he described as "terrorists."