Nerve agent used in ex-spy attack found at British pub, restaurant

Sen. Richard Burr IR-N.C.) left and Sen. Mark Warner

Sen. Richard Burr IR-N.C.) left and Sen. Mark Warner

The sites include a bench in the Maltings shopping centre where the pair were found unconscious, Mr Skripal's home, the cemetery where his wife and son are buried, and the Bishop's Mill pub and Zizzi restaurant where the pair visited in the hours before they fell ill.

British police have said a nerve agent was used against Mr Skripal and his daughter, but have not made public which one.

It recommends reducing the risks in several ways.

Anything that could not be washed or required dry-cleaning would need to be stored away in two plastic bags tied at the top, according to the advice, while authorities considered the "best way" to clean those items.

Mobile phones, handbags and electronic items should be wiped with sanitary wipes, which should then be disposed of in domestic waste. The spy has been identified as Sergei Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer who spied for British intelligence agency MI6.

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Public Health England said it had weighed new evidence before issuing its advice on Sunday, and it said the general public had not been at risk in the days since the attack. On Monday, Wiltshire police said the restaurant, on Castle Street, had been closed as a precaution, and it remains cordoned off.

Investigators are reported to have found traces of a chemical weapon in one part of the Zizzi premises. Skripal's house has also been extensively searched for clues and traces of the nerve agent.

The Metropolitan police, who are leading the investigation, refused to comment on the BBC report.

Officers in hazmat suits worked at the cemetery where there are memorials for both Mr Skripal's son Alexander, who was cremated previous year, and wife Liudmila, who was buried there in 2012.

Troops descended on Salisbury for a second day, with their focus turning to an ambulance station.

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With military chemical weapons experts investigating the attack and Home Secretary Amber Rudd chairing an emergency Cobra meeting on Saturday, Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said the government meant to discuss the case at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation level. Scotland Yard said no exhumations had taken place and it is understood there has been no application to the ministry of justice to permit such a move.

It has previously been reported that Liudmila died of cancer in 2012 aged 59, while Alexander Skripal died in March past year in St Petersburg, aged 43, in unknown circumstances.

DS Bailey's statement came as Home Secretary Amber Rudd described the investigation into the poisonings as a "serious and substantial investigation" which was proceeding with "speed and professionalism".

Senior government officials have vowed to respond robustly if the Russian government is found to be responsible.

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