White House labels Boston blasts as 'act of terror'

3 dead, including 8-year-old boy, and over 140 injured in 2 explosions at annual marathon's finish line.

April 16, 2013 17:00
4 minute read.
Explosion erupts at the finish line of the Boston marathon, April 15, 2013.

Boston blast 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Dan Lampariello)


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US authorities do not yet know who planned and carried out explosions at the Boston marathon Monday that killed three and injured over a 140 people, but they are handling the incident as "an act of terror," a White House official said.

"Any event with multiple explosive devices - as this appears to be - is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror," the official said.

"However, we don't yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic," the official said.

Two bombs ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and injuring over 140 people with some victims suffering amputations.

US President Barack Obama, however, was more cautious in his statements.

"We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts," Obama said in a televised statement from the White House. "But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this, and we will find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this."

Obama said he has directed the federal government to increase security around the United States as necessary after the explosions.

The attack was the worst bombing on American soil since far-right militant and US citizen Timothy McVeigh set off a massive truck bomb that destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

Two years earlier, Islamist militants bombed the twin towers of the World Trade Center, killing six people and wounding more than a 1,000.

The Pakistani Taliban, that was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attack, denied any involvement in the Boston attack on Tuesday. "Wherever we find Americans we will kill them, but we don't have any connection with the Boston Explosions," CNN quoted Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan as saying.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) led a battery of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in investigation into the blast in the early hours of Tuesday.

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