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Obama Heads to Boston as City Copes with Bombing

Mourners pray during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions, April 17, 2013, at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass.
Mourners pray during a candlelight vigil in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions, April 17, 2013, at City Hall in Cambridge, Mass.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama goes to Boston on Thursday, where he will attend an interfaith memorial service as the city copes with Monday's deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon.

VOA correspondent Carolyn Presutti, who is in Boston, says the president will be bringing a message of resolve and commonality.

"I'm sure he will give that message of just how Americans mold together, how Americans come together in patriotism and in support of those who are hurting," she said.  "And I'm sure it will be an encouraging type of speech, and again, just how faith always plays a role when we have these devastating events in the United States."

Chris Hannas Q&A with Carolyn Presutti on Boston Bombing investigation
Chris Hannas Q&A with Carolyn Presutti on Boston Bombing investigationi
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On Wednesday, the FBI, federal prosecutors and Boston police all denied widespread media reports that a suspect in the case had been arrested.

Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.
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Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.
Officials take crime scene photos a day after two explosions hit the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, April 16, 2013.
​Those investigators told news agencies that footage from a security camera showed a man carrying, and then dropping, a black bag near where one of the twin explosions killed three people and wounded 176 others at the finish line of the annual race.

VOA's Presutti said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick offered some hope by saying the investigation was progressing, but that the false reports about an arrest weighed on citizens.

"It was very confusing, and especially for the people of Boston. They want something to hold onto, they want some closure to this. So for them to hear that someone was finally going to be arrested and maybe they would get some answers to their questioning, and then to have it pulled right from under them, they were left very confused," she said.

The investigators have collected a variety of fragments they say were part of the bombs, including pieces of pressure cookers that contained the explosives.  The lid of one of the pressure cookers was found on the roof of a nearby building.

Investigators released photos of mangled pressure cooker pieces, a few inches of a charred wire attached to a small box, a battery attached to red and black wires, a small nail and the head of a blood-stained zipper.  Authorities also found a circuit board believed to be part of one of the bombs.

  • In this image from video provided by WBZ-TV, spectators and runners run from what was described as twin explosions that shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheel chair after he was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers transport the injured across the finish line during the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • One of the blast sites on Boylston Street near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon is investigated by two people in protective suits in the wake of two blasts in Boston April 15, 2013.
  • Runner John Ounao cries when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • A police officer clears Boylston Street following an explosion at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid a wounded woman at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two explosions there, April 15, 2013.
  • Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion in Boston, April 15, 2013.
  • A woman is comforted by a man near a triage tent set up after explosions went off at the 117th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • A Massachusetts state police officer guards the area containing the medical tent, rear, following an explosion at the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • An unidentified Boston Marathon runner leaves the course crying near Copley Square following an explosion, April 15, 2013.
  • A Boston police officer wheels in injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner following an explosion during the 2013 Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • Justine Franco of Montpelier, Vermont, holds up a sign near Copley Square looking for her missing friend, April, who was running in her first Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013.
  • President Barack Obama leaves the podium after speaking in the press briefing room at the White House, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital said Tuesday survivors listed as critical are improving. He called the wounded "amazing people" and said he was touched to hear victims who lost a leg say how glad they are just to be alive. Numerous other victims have been released from hospitals after getting treatment for their injuries.

Two blasts seconds apart near the finish line of the marathon killed an 8-year-old boy, a restaurant catering manager and a graduate student at Boston University.

Watch video report by VOA's Carolyn Presutti

VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports on the scene in Bostoni
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April 17, 2013 5:12 PM
As the investigation continues into Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon, Boston residents are pouring out to express their condolences to those who were killed or injured. VOA's Carolyn Presutti is in Boston, and has this report.

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