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April 16, 2013

Blasts rock marathon

Death toll includes 8-year-old boy

BOSTON — Two bombs that shattered Monday’s annual Patriots Day running of the Boston Marathon Monday killed at least three people, including an eight-year-old boy, and left more than 100 wounded, according to police, hospital and race organizers.

While not confirmed as either a domestic or international terrorist attack as late Monday night, the twin blasts — combined with reports that authorities had found at least two devices that never detonated — drew a siege of FBI, Homeland Security and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigators, along with Boston and Massachusetts State Police.

And President Obama, speaking in a news conference from Washington shortly after 6 p.m., promised the state and the city of Boston that the federal government is mobilizing all of the appropriate resources “to investigate and respond.”

“We do not know who did this, or why,” the president said. “But we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we will find out why,” he added, vowing that any persons or groups resopnsible will be held accountable.

CBS News reported Monday night that FBI agents were questioning a male Saudi national who had been “acting suspiciously,” ran from the scene of the blasts and was tackled by a pedestrian and turned over to Boston Police. But officials could not confirm whether he had any defined role in the explosions.

Officials also shut down cell-phone service in and out of Boston late Monday afternoon, on the premise that cell signals can be used as detonation signals, and authorities temporarily shut down Mass. Bay Transportation Authority services, though the MBTA resumed full service Monday night, and commuter rail lines are running today.

The chaos began about two hours after the winners crossed the line, with was a loud explosion on the north side of Boylston Street, just before the photo bridge that marks the finish line. Another explosion could be heard some 12 seconds later.

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