Thursday, 19 July, 2018

UK police race to find source of new nerve agent poisoning

Man & woman might have been ‘exposed to unknown substance’ near Salisbury – police Reuters
Faye Gross | 07 July, 2018, 03:19

Prime Minister Theresa May blamed Russian Federation for the nerve agent assault against the Skripals.

He said the risk to the public was low and gave assurances that sites which have already been decontaminated are safe.

"As before, my advice is to wash your clothes and wipe down any personal items, shoes, and bags, with cleansing or baby wipes before disposing of them in the usual way", she said.

One hundred counter terrorism officers are working around the clock alongside Wiltshire Police.

The source added that Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess's symptoms were the same as those shown by Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. "We will keep this assessment under constant review as further information becomes known", said Mike Wade, Deputy Director of Health Protection for PHE South West.

A Boots pharmacy in Amesbury was cordoned off, along with the Queen Elizabeth Gardens, the John Baker House in Salisbury, a supported living facility, and the Muggleton Road property in Amesbury, according to Wilshire Police.

"London police later said in a statement: ". we now know that they were exposed to the nerve agent after handling a contaminated item".

Ed Schultz, Progressive Talk Media Personality, Dies at 64
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Police say Sturgess and Rowley were poisoned by the same lethal toxin developed by the Soviet Union that nearly killed Skripal and his daughter in March.

Officials did not say why they had waited four days to declare a "major incident". "I would add that the complex investigation into the attempted murders of Yulia and Sergei remains ongoing and detectives continue to sift through and assess all the available evidence and are following every possible lead to identify those responsible, for what remains a reckless and barbaric criminal act", he adds. Initially, British authorities said there was "nothing" in the background of the Amesbury couple to suggest they were a target in the same way as the Skripals.

Police believe they were somehow exposed to a contaminated container that may have been used in a March nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in nearby Salisbury.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will chair a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee on Thursday, Downing Street said. Police said tests were ongoing to discover what sickened the two people in the latest case of a suspected poisoning.

"It is now time that the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on".

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. "We urge British law enforcement not to get involved in dirty political games that certain powers in London have already begun and instead finally cooperate with Russian law enforcement in their investigations", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters.

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