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All we know about that nerve agent 'attack' on ex-spy

10 March, 2018, 01:20 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Nerve Agents: What are they?

The 66-year-old Russian exile and his 30-year-old daughter, visiting from Moscow, were found unconscious on a bench in the British city of Salisbury last Sunday.

Highly toxic and banned in nearly all countries, nerve agents require expertise to manufacture - leading some to suspect whoever poisoned Skripal had the backing of a state.

Personnel in hazmat suits work to secure a tent covering a bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found critically ill. The ex-spy and his daughter remain in critical condition.

About 180 troops, including some with chemical expertise, have been sent to the city to remove ambulances, other vehicles involved in the incident and other possibly contaminated objects, Britain's ministry of defence and police said.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Thursday that Russian Federation was "becoming an ever-greater threat".

Three people remain hospitalized, however, including the targets of the nerve agent, former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, as well as police Sgt. Nick Bailey, the British officer who tried to help them after the attack.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will chair the British government's emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday to be updated on the investigation.

"It is still very serious for the two people who were the subject of this outrageous attack", Ms Rudd said.

A witness said he saw police searching a auto at a vehicle recovery centre close to Mr Skripal's home on Thursday, describing seeing around 10 people in hazmat suits looking at the Mercedes people carrier.

Citing unnamed security sources, The Sun newspaper said Wednesday they were poisoned by a very rare nerve agent which only a few laboratories in the world could have produced.

There is little risk to the wider public, say local health officials.

Britain has said it will respond appropriately if evidence shows Russian Federation was behind the poisoning. Although the global community has accused Russian Federation of trying to "assassinate" Skripal and his daughter, President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peshkov said that it was a tragic incident and Moscow had no information about him. (AP/AAP) A memorial plaque for Alexander Skripal, the son of ex Russian spy Sergei Skripal.

Temporary chief constable of Wiltshire police Kier Pritchard said: "I have visited Nick in hospital this afternoon and I can confirm that he is conscious, talking and engaging with people". A police officer who responded at the scene is also in serious condition and is being treated in intensive care. She further added: "But let's give the police the time and space to actually conduct their investigation".

Investigators wearing hazmat suits have been seen searching Sergei Skripal's house and auto for evidence, and parts of Salisbury city centre near where the victims collapsed remain cordoned off.

Sergei Skripal, once a Russian military intelligence officer, was imprisoned by Russia in 2006 after being convicted of passing secrets to the U.K.'s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.


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