WASHINGTON -- President Obama spoke on the phone Friday with President Vladimir Putin of Russia as U.S. officials scrambled to track the movements of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers.
In the evening conversation, Obama praised the "close cooperation that the United States has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a written statement.
The call came during an intense Boston-area manhunt for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the bombing, and as a broader investigation spread into whether there may have been collaborators in the U.S. or abroad.
FULL COVERAGE: Boston Marathon attack
The suspected bombers -- Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan -- are ethnic Chechens who had been in the U.S. for about a decade. They previously lived in Dagestan before moving to Boston.
There were signs earlier in the day Friday that Russian officials were helping their U.S. counterparts research the Tsarnaev brothers in the two Russian republics. CNN reported that one interview in Dagestan with Tsarnaev's father ended when Russian authorities showed up to question him.
Putin expressed his condolences for the deaths in Boston, according to the Carney statement, and the two leaders agreed to keep working together.
PHOTOS: Boston bombing suspects
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