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Czech Republic is not Chechnya, Diplomat Points Out

Make no mistake: the Czech Republic is not Chechnya.

That is a distinction the Czech ambassador to the U.S. wants to make crystal clear after news emerged that the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing had Chechen origins.

"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," Petr Gandalovi, the Czech ambassador, wrote on the embassy's website Friday.

The unusual statement followed a series of Twitter messages from people who apparently struggled to distinguish the two places with similar names.

"Both the guys from the bombing are from the Czech Republic," wrote a geographically challenged user called Courtney Abbott, erroneously placing their origins about 2,400 kilometers to the west of Chechnya. "Wow," she added.

"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," the ambassador said.

Gandalovi, who said he was shocked by the attack, stressed that "the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism."

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