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United Kingdom police in protective suits investigate latest Novichok poisoning

06 July, 2018, 22:59 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • A police officer stands guard outside a residential address in Amesbury a man and woman were found unconscious

The Associated Press has identified the couple as Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, whose identities have not been released by authorities.

The exposure of an apparently random British couple to the same nerve agent used against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, in the same part of southwest England, has sent officials scrambling to discover the source of the contamination.

Wallace and other government ministers have asked Russia for answers, repeating accusations that the Russian government was involved in the Skripal poisoning that have been consistently denied by Moscow.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in either incident.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who publicly accused Russian Federation in the Skripal case, is again putting the blame on the government of Vladimir Putin today.

"Coincidentally or not", a correspondent on state-run Rossiya 1 said, the poisoning in Amesbury took place "right before" a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit and Donald Trump's visit to Britain.

The new victims were found in Amesbury, England, just a few miles from the scene of the alleged assassination attempt in March, and officials now believe they are likely secondary, unintended victims of that attack.

Peskov said Russian Federation was anxious by the most recent attacks and was unaware of any requests to investigate the latest incident, Reuters reported. They've also said that, unlike the Skripals, the couple was not deliberately targeted with the Soviet-era nerve agent, which acts rapidly to slow the heart and restrict airways.

Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations Neil Basu said that "around 100 detectives" from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network (CTPN) were working on the investigation.

A police officer stands at a cordon at Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, thought to be connected to a man and woman in Amesbury who are in hospital after being exposed to an unknown substance.

Investigators have yet to determine how Sturgess and Rowley came into contact with the nerve agent, but they've closed down sites in Amesbury and Salisbury where the victims are thought to have traveled before they were found sick. He said it was "completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets", and warned about towns in the United Kingdom becoming "dumping grounds" for nerve agents.

They later confirmed that it was the nerve agent Novichok. He said that Sturgess fell ill first then Rowley later on. "So while the public at large are at very low risk from this material, until the source is found there is a remote chance that someone else might come into contact with it". They spent weeks in hospital before being discharged.

"Based on the information we received from a friend of the couple who had been with them that day, alongside the initial medical diagnosis and items located at the address, there was a strong indication from this that the decline in their health may have been connected to a contaminated batch of illegal drugs", Wiltshire Police said in statement.



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