Police hunt for suspects after blasts at Washington, D.C., retail outlets

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Police in Washington are offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that could lead to the arrest of those involved in three explosions within a 15-minute span at retail outlets in the U.S. capital on Sunday.

No one was killed or injured in the early hour blasts in Washington’s Northeast neighborhood, but all three places were damaged, police said in a statement. In one of the blasts, someone threw “a Molotov cocktail style object” at a Safeway store before fleeing in a vehicle, police said.

The other two explosions took place outside an ATM and in front of a Nike store. All of the establishments were closed at the time.

It was not immediately clear how many suspects police were looking for but officials released an image of one suspect and of a vehicle that could have been used in the attack.

The suspect’s back was turned to the surveillance camera in that image and the face was not visible. The suspect seemed to be wearing a white jacket or hoodie. The car was described as a champagne-colored Acura TL with a Maryland license plate.

As with other big U.S. cities, Washington has experienced a spike in crimes in recent years. In an editorial column last year, the Washington Post said that the regularity of violence and crime in Washington was “alarming” and posed a “serious problem.”

By the first week of June, more than 100 people were killed in the U.S. capital this year, the fastest it has hit the mark in two decades.

Sunday’s explosions appeared to be targeted at commercial establishments and not any members of the public, police said.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; editing by Grant McCool and David Gregorio)