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Canadian security agencies on alert after Boston explosions

Injured people and debris lie on the sidewalk near the Boston Marathon finish line following an explosion in Boston, Monday, April 15, 2013.

Ken McGagh/AP Photo/MetroWest Daily News

Canadian security officials are closely monitoring the situation in Boston for any potential threats to this country after two explosions struck the Boston Marathon.

The Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP are "exercising increased vigilance at points of entry into Canada," according to a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Canadian government officials said they did not yet have definitive information about whether any Canadians were hurt in the blasts. More than 2,000 Canadians took part in the marathon.

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"Our consular officials in Boston are working with local authorities to identify any Canadians affected and to provide emergency assistance," the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a brief statement.

The Canadian consulate-general, located a few blocks from the site of the blast, bolstered security after the blasts, but all diplomats and employees were safe and accounted for, government officials said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he was shocked and saddened by the attack.

"I was shocked to learn of the explosions that occurred today during the running of the Boston Marathon. It is truly a sad day when an event as inspiring as the Boston Marathon is clouded by such senseless violence," he said in the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured or affected by this horrible incident. We stand with our American neighbours in this difficult time."

Mr. Harper is still scheduled to travel to London Tuesday morning to attend the funeral of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

Ryan Leef, Conservative MP for Yukon, finished the race before the explosions took place.

"I didn't hear the explosions go off," Mr. Leef told The Globe. "You know, there's tons of cheering, there's about half a million fans down there … so you really wouldn't have heard the explosion, I don't think, unless you were immediately right there. But we certainly saw a quick response from all kinds of different agencies – police, fire, ambulance – racing toward the finish line."

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Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

Parliamentary reporter

Kim Mackrael has been a reporter for The Globe and Mail since 2011. She joined the Ottawa bureau Sept. 2012. More


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