The United States marks one year on Tuesday since a pair of homemade bombs went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding at least 260 others.
US President Barack Obama and White House aides will observe the anniversary with a private moment of silence in the Oval Office at 2:49pm (6:49pm GMT), the moment that the first of two bombs exploded at the marathon last April 15.
Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will attend a memorial service at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center. Biden’s office says he will deliver remarks in tribute to those killed in the bombing as well as to the survivors and first responders.
Many of those who survived the attack lost limbs in what was the worst attack on US soil since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement last January that he was authorising trial prosecutors to seek the death penalty against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother accused of planning and carrying out the attack.
“The nature of the conduct at issue and the resultant harm compel this decision,” Holder said.
Prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had lived in the Boston area for about a decade, planted two homemade pressure-cooker bombs packed with metal fragments to maximise their damage near the marathon's finish line.
Three nights later, the brothers allegedly killed a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, carjacked a man and engaged in a gunbattle with police in the suburb of Watertown that ended with 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead and Dzhokhar on the run.
The younger Tsarnaev was arrested on April 19, four days after the bombing attack and at the conclusion of a 22-hour manhunt that had most of the Boston area in lockdown. Police found Tsarnaev, wounded and bleeding, hiding in a boat in a backyard.
Seventeen of the 30 charges against the surviving Tsarnaev carry the possibility of the death penalty.
Tsarnaev, now 20, pleaded not guilty in July. No trial date has yet been set.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-04-15