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U.S. to pay $8.4 million to victims, responders at Boston bombing

Flowers lie on the sidewalk at the site of the first explosion as people walk along Boylston Street after the street reopened to the public
Flowers lie on the sidewalk at the site of the first explosion as people walk along Boylston Street after the street reopened to the public

BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Monday said it would make an $8.4 million grant to groups helping victims and first responders involved in the bombing attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Funding will go to organizations working with the 264 people injured in the April 15 attack, as well as witnesses, emergency responders and others affected by the blasts, which killed three people.

The two brothers suspected of carrying out the worst attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 are also believed to have shot dead a university police office three days later as they prepared to flee Boston, triggering a day-long manhunt and lockdown of most of the Boston area.

"This grant funding will provide critical support to many who were affected by last year's terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon," Attorney General Eric Holder said.

Twin homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowds at the finish line of Boston's best-attended sporting event, injuring athletes, spectators and volunteers.

Accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, is awaiting trial on charges that could carry the death penalty if he is convicted. His 26-year-old brother Tamerlan died the night that the two tried to flee Boston when Dzhokhar ran him over with a motor vehicle during a gun battle with police.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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