Chicago (AFP) - Two parcel bombs rattled the US city of Austin on Monday, 10 days after a similar deadly blast, as Texas police said they were investigating the possibility that the attacks were serial hate crimes.
The explosions came as Austin, the state capital and a metropolis of two million people, welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors for the massive South by Southwest entertainment and media festival.
A 17-year-old was killed early Monday after bringing a package into his home and opening it, while a woman living at the same address was injured.
A second explosion later in the morning left an elderly woman in critical condition, after she was injured picking up a package in front of her home, police said.
The twin bombings followed an initial blast on March 2, when a 39-year-old man was killed -- also after opening a parcel bomb.
"This again is the third in what we believe to be related incidents over the past 10 days," Austin police chief Brian Manley told a news conference.
"We are imploring the community, if you know anything about these attacks, it is imperative that you come forward."
The Texas governor's office offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
"I want to assure all Texans, and especially those in Austin, that local, state and federal law enforcement officials are working diligently to find those responsible for these heinous crimes," Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.
Investigators have found no evidence so far of a terrorism link, and have yet to establish a definite motive or profile for the bomber, Manley said.
Police were considering whether racial hatred was a factor.
"We have had two victims that were African American, and the victim of this latest incident was a 75-year-old Hispanic female," the police chief said.Read More...