Boston marathon: Runners pay tribute to bomb attack victims

Rita Jeptoo wins Boston Marathon again in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds

Thousands of Boston marathon runners paid tribute to those killed and injured in a bomb attack last year with a moment of silence amid heavy security on Monday.

Nearly 36,000 runners signed up for the 118th Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon race in the world, with thousands taking part in the event to show their support for the city one year after the deadly attack, which killed three people.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended her title in 2 hours, 18 minutes, 57 seconds, setting a new course record. Eritrean-American Meb Keflezighi won the men's marathon in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 37 seconds, becoming the first American man to win in three decades.

Massachusetts officials stepped up security measures in this year's edition, banning backpacks and installing screening checkpoints, to keep the race safe. Containers carrying more than 1 litre of liquid, costumes covering the face and large vests with pockets were also banned.

Race organisers allowed an extra 9,000 runners to take part this year to make room for the more than 5,000 athletes who were still on the course at the time of last year’s explosions, as well as for friends and relatives of the victims and for those who made the case that they were "profoundly impacted" by the attack.

US authorities say two ethnic Chechen brothers planned and orchestrated the twin bombings near the finish line on 15 April last year, killing three people and injuring 264.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during a shootout with police on 19 April in Watertown, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar was discovered hiding in a boat later the same day.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now faces terrorism charges in connection with the bombing that carry a possible death sentence. He has pleaded not guilty.

Additional reporting PA