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The Boston Globe


IEDs called first multiple use on US soil

WASHINGTON — The Boston Marathon bombing marked a watershed moment that counterterrorism officials and specialists have dreaded for years: the use of multiple “improvised explosive devices,’’ or IEDs, to inflict mass casualties on US soil.

Islamic militant groups routinely have used makeshift bombs — detonated nearly simultaneously — to kill civilian bystanders as well as military personnel from Iraq and Israel to Russia and Afghanistan. But until Monday’s explosions at the finish line in Copley Square, such street-level detonations targeting sidewalk or marketplace crowds had not occurred in the United States.

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