The Surreal Sight of SWAT Teams in Banal Suburbs of Boston

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One of the strangest things about watching heavily-armed tactical teams sweep through Watertown, Massachusetts in search of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the fugitive Boston marathon bomber, was seeing all this war pouring through quaint suburban streets. Helicopters landed on the roof of the mall. Men with M4s perched on backyard huts. Cheery lawn ornaments decorated the yards while police pointed guns at the windows next door. Some of the most surreal pictures were taken by residents from their upstairs windows as law enforcement patrolled their streets and camouflaged military vehicles parked next to trashcans on the sidewalk. Here are some of the most arresting photos from Watertown.

A bomb disposal device rolls in to Watertown before dawn.

(Photo via Reuters.)

Shawna England tweeted that this was the view from her house in Watertown Friday morning.

Who would have thought your backyard hutch could provide cover for snipers?

Andrew Kitzenberg tweeted this photo of the neighborhood being evacuated "by military with assault weapons."

Karen Pryor tweeted her house was searched at 7a.m. It looks like six soldiers on someone's back porch.

A barefoot man evacuates:

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(Photo via Associated Press.)

Here are FBI agents clearing houses in Watertown. It was hard not to notice the fake palm tree yard decoration, which was on CNN and other channels for a couple hours Friday morning.

(Photo via Reuters.)

This gives you a sense of how much law enforcement there was on the residential street.

(Photo via Reuters.)

As does this photo, where SWAT team walks past a little shop in the suburban town.

(Photo via Reuters.)

A Blackhawk helicopter landed on the roof of the local Best Buy in Watertown, the Associated Press' Katie Zezima reported. Gloria Pazmino tweeted that it was actually two helicopters that landed on the roof of the mall.

Law enforcement continued to go house to house throughout the day. Watertown residents watched from the sidewalk.

(Photo via Reuters.)

A tactical team moves through the neighborhood.

(Photo via Associated Press.)

A CNN still from Cork Gaines showing a man standing on a roof and pointing a handgun into the window of a suburban home.

Michael Danubio, who works for the Red Sox, said this was a photo from his friend's apartment in Watertown:

"There goes the neighborhood," @jw2840 tweets.

It's not just the police and FBI. It's the press, too. @yushaSays says this is what it looks like outside her door.

Earlier this morning, it looked like this:

It was too much attention, so a sign was posted:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.