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Wiltshire poisoning: Officer admitted over Novichok poisoning fears is given all-clear

09 July 2018
Wiltshire poisoning: Officer admitted over Novichok poisoning fears is given all-clear

This comes just four months after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were targeted and poisoned by Novichok that had been deposited on the door of Sergei Skripal's home in Salisbury, England.

Police have launched a murder inquiry after a woman exposed to nerve agent Novichok in Wiltshire died.

The name is Russian for "newbie" or "newcomer".

That means authorities will have to take soil and vegetation samples from sites where it's possible that the nerve agent was present and test the samples in a painstaking process to see if there is any contamination.

Peskov said Russian Federation was anxious by the most recent attacks and was unaware of any requests to investigate the latest incident, Reuters reported. "That is part of the anger I feel about the Russian state (in the Skripal case). that they chose to use clearly a very, very toxic, highly risky weapon".

Police have said they are looking for a vial that may contain Novichok.

Hobson said that Sturgess was living in a homeless hostel in Salisbury and Rowley was a drug user who lived in Amesbury, a small town about eight miles (13 kilometres) north of Salisbury. Hobson said he went to Rowley's house on Saturday as Sturgess was being taken to hospital and stayed with him for several hours until he too began to complain of feeling ill. According to mobile phone video footage taken at the scene as he was being taken away, medical personnel were wearing white protective suits at the time.

Police said they had fallen ill after handling a contaminated item but gave no further details.

British Security Minister Ben Wallace spoke to the BBC on Thursday.

He told reporters: 'Clearly what we have already determined, what our expert scientists have determined, is that the nerve agent in this incident is the exact same nerve agent as was used back in March (when the Skripals were poisoned).

Moscow has hit back by expelling Western diplomats, questioning how Britain knows that Russian Federation was responsible and offering its rival interpretations, including that it amounted to a plot by British secret services.

The remarks sparked a sharp response from Moscow.

Officials say none of the areas cordoned off in the current investigation overlap with areas that were previously decontaminated after the Skripal poisoning. They worry that the public won't heed their warning not to pick up any foreign objects.

On March 4, former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66, who had been convicted in Russia for spying for the United Kingdom, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, England.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Moscow had offered Britain its assistance in probing the Salisbury attack long ago but had been rebuffed.