British Police Hunt Object That May Have Poisoned Couple With Novichok

Parts of Salisbury had only been reopened two months ago after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal

Parts of Salisbury had only been reopened two months ago after the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal Credit AP

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", Mr Basu said.

"However, we must not jump to conclusions and we must give the police the space and the time to carry out their investigations".

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

Around 100 counterterrorism detectives are now working alongside police on the investigation.

"Meticulous and systematic searches are under way at a number of sites".

Forensic investigators are continuing to comb for clues in Wiltshire after the latest Novichok poisonings.

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"At this stage it is not yet clear if a crime has been committed", said Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills of Wiltshire Police who took the rare step of calling it a major incident. "We understand that Novichoks were created to last for months, so four months down the line, is obviously still toxic".

Novichok remains highly toxic for a considerable period of time, so even the tiniest trace remaining in a container picked up by the victims could account for their severe illness.

Britain blamed the poisoning of the Skripals on Russian Federation, prompting a serious diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Western states.

Developed in the then-Soviet Union in the 1970s, the paralyzing compound - which can be absorbed through the skin - had been placed on the Skripals' front door in what is widely considered to have been an assassination attempt by the current Russian state security agency. It also comes as Russia hosts the World Cup - a monthlong global extravaganza in which both the English and Russian soccer teams have advanced so far.

"He started feeling really hot and he went and had a shower, he was in his bedroom for a while and then he came out and felt a bit weird and started acting all amusing", said Hobson.

"It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison", Javid said.

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Calling the new incident "very worrying", the Kremlin later said it was unaware of any official British requests to Russian Federation for help in relation to the investigation. "Instead of real co-operation, London is doing everything to make the situation vague and intimidate its own people". "One can only guess what the reasons behind such a line of behaviour are".

"We would like to reiterate the advice from Public Health England that the risk to the wider public remains low".

The hospital is where the Skripals also spent weeks in a critical condition before slowly recovering and being discharged.

-10.15 a.m. The South West Ambulance Service is called to an address on Muggleton Road, where a 44-year-old woman had been taken ill, and she was subsequently taken to hospital.

A friend of Rowley's said that he was a drug user and Sturgess lived in a hostel for homeless people in Salisbury. Investigators are trying to track the exact movements of Sturgess and Rowley from around 10pm on Friday.

The Kremlin described the Amesbury poisoning as "disturbing", but said it had not received any appeal from the United Kingdom about the incident.

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Authorities are searching several locations in Amesbury and Salisbury, which are about 9 miles apart, for where the pair may have come across nerve agents.

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