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Man in custody after two backpacks left near Boston Marathon finish line

Los Angeles Times

April 15. 2014 9:35PM
A cloud of smoke marks the spot where the police bomb squad detonated a bag left at the finish line of the Boston Marathon during the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The Boston Police Department late on Tuesday reported that two backpacks were found near the race's finish line and were being inspected by the bomb squad. One of the bags was later detonated by the bomb squad after inspection, reported local media. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

On Tuesday evening -- the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings -- Boston police evacuated Boylston Street near the marathon's usual finish line and took an unidentified man into custody after two suspicious backpacks were left lying on the street.

Shortly before the evacuation, local media posted video of a barefoot male wearing a black veil and a floppy black hat marching toward the marathon's finish line carrying a large, heavy-looking backpack while shouting, "Boston strong! Boston strong!"

"Boston strong" is, of course, the slogan popularized after last year's April 15 bombings at the marathon, which killed three people and wounded at least 260; the two bombs used in that attack were pressure cookers concealed in backpacks.

Earlier Tuesday, the finish line had been packed with mourners marking the anniversary of the attack.

But as of Tuesday evening, police had cleared the site to examine the backpacks.

The bomb squad was on the scene, and police asked the news media not to show live images of the backpacks, citing officer safety.

After investigating, Boston police decided to safely blow up the bags "for precautionary reasons," according to a statement made on the police's Twitter account.

It was not immediately clear whether the bags contained any explosives.

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