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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Examine Earlier Bomb As 3rd Paris Blast Victim Dies

PARIS -- The bombing of a Paris subway train has claimed its third victim -- a 25-year-old Moroccan man.


The victim had been hospitalized since Tuesday's blast with serious burns. His death was announced Thursday night by the public agency representing all Paris hospitals.


News reports identified him as Mohamed Ben Chaou and said he was a graduate student in mathematics.


The blast, which ripped through a crowded train during rush hour, also killed a Canadian woman and a Frenchman.


Of the 88 people wounded, 33 remained hospitalized -- three of them in critical condition.


Although subway trains were running normally Friday, there were at least three instances during the morning where trains were delayed because of suspicious packages that needed to be checked.


A newspaper reported Friday that a bomb almost identical to the one used Tuesday was set off about two weeks ago in Essonne, a suburban area south of Paris, and that police were considering the possibility that it might have been a test for Tuesday's blast.


The daily Parisien, which did not cite its sources, said the bomb was made of a 13-kilogram gas canister -- like the one used Tuesday -- and was filled with the same chemicals, although it lacked the black gunpowder.


It said the bomb destroyed a stone shack that stored tools for road workers.


Another report, on RTL radio, said police had identified the fibers of the bag that carried Tuesday's bomb, and that they were the same kind as a bag used in a failed bombing in September 1995.


Investigators were said to be focusing on Algerian Islamic extremists as prime suspects in the case. But they appeared to have no hard evidence of that, except for similarities between the nail-packed bomb and those used in a wave of attacks in 1995, most claimed by Algerian extremists.


A police source close to the probe said Thursday that although dozens of witnesses had been interviewed since the blast, they had not given investigators substantial leads. Seeking more tips, they have set up a hotline.


The police source said investigators are now examining video from cameras at stations near where the bomb went off to see if anyone got on with a bag that might have carried a 13-kilogram bomb. The Port Royal station, where the bomb exploded, didn't have a video camera.


Heightened security measures were still in force around the nation. Barricades were up outside schools and hundreds of extra soldiers and police were patrolling train stations, airports, and tourist sites.


At the Mixed Elementary School in central Paris, metal barriers jutted out into the street Thursday, preventing cars from parking in front.


Parents were divided over whether it would help.


"It's very good, especially now. One never knows what could happen,'' said Liliane Ueda, a mother with three children at the school.


But Jacqueline Raboisson, a mother of two, said they were "only meant to reassure us.''


"It's psychological, that's all," she said.