Boston Marathon bombs
On April 15, 2013, two bomb blasts rocked the annual Boston Marathon, injuring more than 170 people and killing three others: Martin Richard, 8; Krystle Campbell, 29; and Lu Lingzu, 23, a Chinese student at Boston University. The suspects later forced a standoff with authorities. They were identified as two ethnic Chechen brothers from southern Russia who had been in the US for about a decade, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who died in the gun battle. Dzhokhar was arrested on April 19, 2013.
Envoy reminds Americans that Chechen is not Czech
Chechen is not the same as Czech. The Czech Republic is different from Chechnya.
That's the simple message that the Czech government wants Americans to know in the aftermath of the bombings in the Boston Marathon, allegedly by two brothers of Chechen origin.
The Czech Republic's ambassador to the United States, Petr Gandalovic, felt compelled at the weekend to clear up what he called a "most unfortunate misunderstanding" that some Americans on Twitter have been guilty of in recent days.
"The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities," he said in a press release posted on his embassy's website. "The Czech Republic is a Central European country. Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation," Gandalovic said, one day after police killed one of the alleged perpetrators of the bombing and captured the other.
Americans are notorious for being geographically challenged, and historically get low scores for their knowledge of the globe.
Gandalovic said he hoped to clarify that the similarity between Czech and Chechen ends with the sound of their names.
"The Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism," the envoy said.
"We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect - there is no doubt about that."