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3 Package Bombs in 11 Days in Austin Kill 2

3 Package Bombs in 11 Days in Austin Kill 2
Authorities are investigating the scene in Austin, Texas, after a teenager was killed and a woman was injured in the first of two explosions Monday. (AP)

Monday, 12 March 2018 02:36 PM

Police in Austin Texas said they believe three package bombs in the past 11 days are related and are warning residents not to touch any packages they were not expecting.

Chief Brian Manley confimed at a news conference that all three incidents were package bombs at residences. The first on March 2 killed a 39-year-old man.

The two incidents on Monday badly injured a woman and killed a teenager and wounded a woman in a different part of the city.

"We have no specific ideology or victimology behind this," Manley said, adding that it is not known if those who opened the packages were indeed the intended victims.

Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that an explosion Monday in southeast Austin injured a woman in her 70s, who has been hospitalized. A second woman from that address has been hospitalized with an unrelated medical issue.

Authorities have not said whether the most recent explosions were caused by a package bomb like the one that exploded earlier Monday.

Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference Monday that investigators believe the first deadly blast Monday is linked to a March 2 package bomb that killed a 39-year-old man in another part of the city.

They're considering whether race was a factor because the victims of the first two explosions were black.

The first explosion Monday happened inside of a home near the Windsor Park neighborhood and killed a 17-year-old boy and badly wounded a woman who is expected to survive, said Manley.

It happened as thousands of visitors are descending on the city for the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival, and authorities urged residents to call the police if they receive any packages they aren't expecting.

The attack happened about 12 miles from the home where a March 2 package bombing killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. The first blast was initially being investigated as a suspicious death but is now viewed as a homicide.

Manley said investigators believe the attacks are related, as in both cases, the packages were left overnight on the victims' doorsteps and were not mailed or sent by a delivery service. He said the U.S. Postal Service doesn't have a record of delivering the package to the East Austin home where Monday's explosion occurred, and that private carriers like UPS and FedEx also indicated that they had none, either.

"There are similarities that we cannot rule out that these two items are, in fact, related," Manley said.

Manley said investigators haven't determined a motive for the attacks, but it is possible that the victims could have been targeted because they are black.

"We don't know what the motive behind these may be," Manley said. "We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this. But we're not saying that that's the cause as well."

Special Agent Michelle Lee, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the FBI, said the agency "responded to both events" and was assisting Austin police which were taking the lead on investigating. She said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was taking the lead on the federal investigation.

Manley said that a second package was discovered near the site of Monday's blast and that some residents and media members were evacuated, or pushed farther from the blast site, as authorities determined whether or not it was another explosive.

Police didn't immediately identify the teenager killed Monday. Manley said the second victim was a 40-year-old woman who remained hospitalized.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Police are responding to another explosion in Austin that badly injured a woman, hours after a package bomb killed a teenager and wounded a woman in a different part of the city. Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted that an explosion Monday in southeast Austin injured a woman in...
austin, texas, package, bomb
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Monday, 12 March 2018 02:36 PM
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