Russian ex-spy, daughter still critical after nerve agent attack - United Kingdom minister

Marie Harrington
March 11, 2018

On Friday, police called in about 180 marines, soldiers and air force personnel with expertise in chemical weapons, decontamination and logistics to help with the probe and to remove vehicles that might be contaminated.

Commentators said police were exploring the theory that the former Russian spy and his daughter, who was reportedly visiting from Moscow, were exposed to the nerve agent at the house.

The father and daughter - believed by authorities to have been deliberately targeted - were found slumped on a bench near a shopping center on Sunday afternoon.

In an update to parliament yesterday, Rudd said that the individuals remain unconscious and "in a critical but stable condition".

Authorities say there is no risk to the general public from the attack.

She said 240 witnesses had been identified and 250 officers from eight out of 11 of the country's counter-terrorism units were handling the case with "speed and professionalism". "We are putting in enormous resources to ensure that they have all the support that they need to do that".

A total of 21 people have received medical treatment after the mysterious attack, including Nick Bailey, a British police officer who is conscious but in serious condition.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the attack that has left some 21 people needing medical treatment.

"The public should not be alarmed and the public health advice remains the same".

The grave of Mr Skripal's wife Liudmila, who was buried in 2012, and the memorial stone of his son Alexander, who was cremated previous year, were cordoned off at the London Road cemetery.Apparent fears of chemical contamination have also seen Mr Skripal's home cordoned off while detectives attempt to pin down the origins of the substance used to incapacitate him. "People have been so kind and he has expressed that he will never forget that kindness". "At the moment, our priority is going to be the incident, which is why I'm here".

Meanwhile, investigators wearing hazmat suits could be seen near the grave of Mr Skripal's wife Liudmila in Salisbury's London Road cemetery. Entrances to the cemetery were closed off.

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Western intelligence services consider Russian Federation a leading suspect based on previous attacks that used a similar substance and method, a Western intelligence official told CNN. "It's too early to say how far and wide this investigation will stretch".

If a Moscow link were proved, it would plunge relations between the West and Russian Federation to a new low.

"We are accused not only of this, but of everything that, in the view of our Western partners, is wrong on this plant", said foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. He said Russian Federation was ready to assist "any investigation" but that it was "not necessary to hurl unfounded accusations on TV". However, British Foreign Secretary urged "not to jump to conclusions".

The UK said it will seek assistance from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and employ the "full force" of its resources to respond to the poisoning of a Russian former double agent.

Those branded enemies of the Russian state have sometimes died mysteriously overseas, and the Skripal case echoes the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian agent who was poisoned in London in 2006 with radioactive polonium-210.

A British public inquiry found that Putin had probably ordered Litvinenko's murder.

The meeting was similar to the ones convened after extremist attacks and other threats to Britain's national security.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Wallace described the attack as a "very serious incident with horrendous outcomes".

"The Government will not be acting precipitously in response to what has happened".

"Once these are established, then and only then, will an appropriate and proportionate course of action be taken".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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