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 Two persons exposed to nerve agent Novichok not far from British Salisbury, - Scotland Yard

British Counter Terrorism Policing Network is now leading the investigation into major incident in Amesbury, following which a man and woman are critically ill in hospital.

As reported by Censor.NET citing the statement by the Metropolitan Police Service, the territorial police force responsible for policing most of London, the test results from Porton Down laboratory received on July 4 show the two people who fall ill in Amesbury had been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.

According to the Scotland Yard, an ambulance was called to a residential address in Amesbury on June 30, where a 44-year-old woman had collapsed. She was subsequently taken to hospital. Later on the same day, the ambulance service was called back to the same address, where a 45-year-old man had also fallen ill. The man was taken to hospital and Wiltshire Police were informed.

From initial assessment it was thought that the two patients had fallen ill after using drugs from a potentially contaminated batch. However, on July 2, due to concerns over the symptoms the man and woman were displaying, samples from both patients were sent to Porton Down laboratory for analysis.

The detailed analysis of these samples confirmed that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok, which has been identified as the same nerve agent that contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

The latest update we have from the hospital is that both patients remain in a critical condition. Both are British nationals and are local to the area. At this stage, no-one else has presented with the same symptoms linked to this incident.

The priority for the investigation team now, is to establish how these two people have come into contact with this nerve agent. Around 100 detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network are now working on this investigation, alongside colleagues from Wiltshire Police.

Police have cordoned off a number of sites in the Amesbury and Salisbury areas that the two individuals presumably visited in the period before they fell ill.

As reported, Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, remain critically ill in hospital, after they were found unconscious on a bench in the Wiltshire city on March 4. The UK government says they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was "culpable."

UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats as part of a "full and robust" response – prompting Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will "certainly" expel British diplomats in response.

On March 16, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had "no reason to doubt the findings and assessments by the British government" which suggested Russian responsibility. He said the "UK is not alone" and Nato allies gave "strong political support" to Britain, following a joint statement from the US, France and Germany backing Mrs May's government and a pledge of support from Australia.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that the U.K.'s government believes that it was likely Putin's decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K.

On March 26, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the United States, including 12 people identified as Russian intelligence officers who have been stationed at the United Nations in New York.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3074887