Washington: The American media reacted with horror to the twin blasts at the Boston Marathon that once again brought the nation face to face with the threat of terrorism and showed "how vulnerable the US homeland still is".
"In Boston, explosions transform a scene of celebration into one of tragedy," said the Washington Post in an editorial noting, "In the weeks and months after the 2001 terrorist attacks, every iconic sports event became an occasion for anxiety."
"Over time, the trepidation faded - until Monday," it said. But "In the early moments after the blasts, there were indications of the nation's maturity, for better and worse, in dealing with such shocks."
"The simple joy of a 26.2-mile run was shattered on Monday," wrote the New York Times in an editorial titled "Bombs at the Marathon."
Calling a marathon as "the most unifying of sporting events," the influential daily expressed confidence "the marathon will be back next year, no matter how much security is required, and the crowds should yell twice as loudly."
"No act of terrorism is strong enough to shatter a tradition that belongs to American history," it said.
The Wall Street Journal in a similar vein said "Terror in Boston" was "A reminder of how vulnerable the US homeland still is."
"The Boston bombing is above all a reminder of the continuing need for heightened defences against terror threats," the Journal wrote.
"As the years since 9/11 without a successful homeland attack increased, the temptation was to forget how vulnerable the US is, and to conclude that the worst is over."
"Boston shows that the terror threat continues to be real, and that the price of even a peaceful marathon is constant vigilance," it concluded.
Two bombs exploded in the packed streets near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and injuring more than 130 in a terrifying scene of shattered glass, bloodstained pavement and severed limbs at the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathon, authorities said.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said two other bombs were found near the end of the 26.2-mile (42-kilometer) course.
The fiery twin blasts took place almost simultaneously and about 100 yards (meters) apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending dense plumes of smoke rising over the street and through the fluttering national flags lining the course.
When the second bomb went off, the spectators’ cheers turned to screams. As sirens blared, emergency workers and National Guardsmen assigned to the race for crowd control began climbing over and tearing down temporary fences to get to the blast site.
At the White House, President Barack Obama vowed that those responsible will “feel the full weight of justice.”
“Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice,” President Barack Obama vowed.
“We still do not know who did this or why, and people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,” Obama said. “But make no mistake — we will get to the bottom of this.”
With inputs from Agencies