UK to address suspicions that Russia was behind nerve agent spy attack

Written by on March 8, 2018

A split image showing former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal.
In a statement on Wednesday evening Mark Rowley, the head of the counter-terrorism division at London’s Metropolitan police, declared a “major incident” and said hundreds of police officers, forensic experts and government chemical analysts were involved in the inquiry. Rowley said the attack was being treated as attempted murder, and that Skripal and his daughter were deliberately targeted.
If a Moscow link were proved, it would plunge relations between the West and Russia to a new low, and would call into question the British government’s ability to protect residents of the UK at home. Rowley said officers from Wiltshire police, the local force, were providing support to the sick officer and his family.
Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said the evidence did not suggest any wider danger to the public.

Police say they know the nerve agent used in the attack, but have declined to say what it was nor how they suspect it was administered. They called on anyone who visited the area on Sunday, including a branch of the Zizzi restaurant chain or the nearby Bishop’s Mill pub, to come forward with any information that might help them piece together what happened.
Rudd earlier expressed her “heartfelt thanks” to the emergency services for their “bravery and professionalism in continuing to deal with the incident in Salisbury.” On Twitter, Rudd said: “My thoughts are with all those affected, including the police officer who is being treated in hospital.”

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