London Marathon Reviews Security After Boston Explosions
Security for this weekend’s London Marathon is being reviewed by organizers and police after bombings near the finish of yesterday’s Boston Marathon killed three people and injured scores.
“Our security plan is developed jointly with the Metropolitan Police and we were in contact with them as soon as we heard the news,” London Marathon Chief Executive Officer Nick Bitel said last night in an e-mailed statement.
About 37,000 people are entered to run in the April 21 event. Seven members of Parliament are scheduled to take part, including Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls. A photo shoot for the lawmakers that was due to take place in London today was canceled, race organizers said in a statement.
“We fully expect that Sunday’s race, registration and associated events will go ahead as originally scheduled,” organizers said in a later posting on the London Marathon’s Facebook page.
London hosted the Summer Olympics last year, and police have dealt with terror attacks from religious extremists and Irish nationalists in the capital.
The U.K. used military units to police the games, including anti-air missiles based on some apartment buildings. In the two weeks before the Olympics, police arrested 14 people in two separate counter-terrorism probes as part of a 66-day operation to prevent a terrorist attack during the Olympics, which began July 27.
In Boston, about 2 1/2 hours after men’s race winner Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia crossed the finish line, two powerful explosions went off at the end of the course. Three people were killed and another 128 hospitalized, authorities said.
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang won last year’s race in London, with his compatriot Mary Keitany taking the women’s event for a second straight time. It was the 32nd London Marathon, which is sponsored by Richard Branson’s Virgin financial-services group.
As well as elite runners, the event attracts many taking part to raise money for charitable causes.
The marathon route, starting in Blackheath, includes the National Maritime Museum and Canary Wharf as well as taking runners past the Cutty Sark ship, Tower Bridge and Parliament Square before finishing near Buckingham Palace.
“We are currently reviewing all our security arrangements with the Metropolitan Police and we will post the latest information on all the events through Twitter, Facebook and e- mails,” London organizers added.
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