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Libel lawsuit filed against New York Post in bombing coverage

The Post did not identify the pair by name, but friends and co-workers recognized them, the suit said.
The Post did not identify the pair by name, but friends and co-workers recognized them, the suit said. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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A Massachusetts teenager and his 24-year-old friend filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Post Wednesday in Boston, accusing the tabloid of falsely portraying them as suspects in the deadly Marathon bombings by plastering their photograph on the front page under the headline, “Bag Men.”

The lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court said the photographs and articles published three days after the bombings made it appear that FBI agents were pursuing Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi, avid runners watching the Marathon. That evening, authorities released photographs of the suspected bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

In the complaint, lawyers for Barhoum, a 16-year-old Revere High School student, and Zaimi, a college student from Malden, accused the New York Post of libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. They are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

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