Boston: In an apparent terror attack, two bomb explosions ripped through the cheering crowd at the finish line of the popular Boston Marathon, killing at least three people and injuring over 140.
The two blasts occurred within seconds on a sidewalk along the 42-kilometre route of the Boston Marathon, where thousands of people had lined up to cheer on the marathoners yesterday.
Though there was no clue as to who was behind the explosions, a White House official said they were approaching the blasts as an act of terror.
“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 on condition of anonymity.
“However, we don’t yet know who carried out the 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.
Three people were killed in the two powerful explosions that detonated in quick succession, The Boston Globe reported.
Hospitals reported at least 144 people are being treated, with at least 17 of them in critical condition and 25 in serious condition. At least eight of the patients are children.
Media reports quoted law enforcement sources as saying that the dead included an 8-year-old boy. The authorities also found two devices at two other locations in the city, but they did not explode.
Several mega cities in the US, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, have been put on alert.
FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers told reporters here that the investigation into the blasts is an “ongoing and criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation.”
US President Barack Obama, describing the act as “senseless”, affirmed that the perpetrators “will feel the full weight of justice.”
A Saudi national with a leg wound was under guard at a Boston hospital in connection with the bombings, but investigators cannot say he is involved at this time and he is not in custody, a law enforcement official was quoted by CNN as saying.