WASHINGTON, April 20 (RIA Novosti) – The Czech ambassador to the United States has expressed concern over angry remarks in US social networks mistakenly aimed at his country in connection with a recent terrorist attack on the American soil.
Dozens of messages accusing the Czechs of terrorism and even calling for US retaliation against the Czech Republic appeared in the US segments of Twitter and Facebook on Friday after reports that the two suspects in Boston Marathon bombing had Chechen origins.
“As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect,” Ambassador Petr Gandalovič said in a statement on the Czech embassy’s website on Friday.
The suspects in the twin bombing attack on April 15, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, were said by US officials to be members of a family originally from Chechnya in the volatile north Caucasus region of Russia where federal forces have been battling Islamist insurgents for years.
“The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities - the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation,” Gandalovič pointed out.
The two countries are about 2,730 kilometers (1,700 miles) apart.
The diplomat reminded the bloggers that “the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism.”
“We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that,” Gandalovič said.
It is not the first time the American bloggers have trouble identifying geographical locations, becoming an object of ridicule around the world.
During a brief war between Russia and its neighbor Georgia over South Ossetia in 2008, some geographically challenged US social media users posted frantic remarks about Russia invading the US State of Georgia.