Boston Marathon explosives were loaded with shrapnel inside pressure cookers

04/16/13 AP
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Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said this morning there were 176 casualties, 17 of them in critical condition, and three fatalities from yesterday’s bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

President Barack Obama said today the deadly bombings were an act of terrorism but investigators do not know if they were carried out by an international or domestic organization, or perhaps by an individual.

"This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. That's what we don't yet know. And clearly, we’re at the beginning of our investigation.

"It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened. But we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice.

"We also know this -- the American people refuse to be terrorized. Because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love: Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets. The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world, and the medical students who hurried to help, saying “When we heard, we all came in.” The priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful. And the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it.

"So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil -- that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. Unafraid."

Obama stepped to the microphone after receiving a briefing at the White House from Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other top aides.

A person briefed on the Boston Marathon investigation says the explosives were in 6-liter pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags.

The person says the explosives were placed on the ground and contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings. The person spoke with the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

The person says law enforcement officials have some of the bomb components but did not yet know what was used to set off the explosives.

Massachusetts General Hospital's chief of trauma surgery, Dr. George Velmahos, says doctors removed a variety of sharp objects, including pellets and nails, from the wounds of victims.

Velmahos’ colleague, Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center says he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.

Another doctor, David Mooney, director of the trauma center at Boston Children's Hospital, said we've removed BBs and we've removed nails from kids. One of the sickest things for me was just to see nails sticking out of a little girl's body.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says no unexploded bombs were found at the Boston Marathon. He says the only explosives were the ones that went off yesterday.

The FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said there are no known additional threats.

Authorities are asking the public for amateur video and photographic evidence that can give clues to who set off the bombs.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the bombings, saying that Islamic law, or Shariah, does not condone violence against civilians. The Pakistani Taliban have also denied any role.

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