Brit troops scour town after ex-spy, daughter poisoned

Saul Bowman
March 11, 2018

Former double agent Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in hospital since they were found unconscious on Sunday on a bench outside a shopping centre in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury.

Police say they know the nerve agent used in the attack, but have declined to say what it was or how they suspect it was administered.

Around 180 troops, including Royal Marines, RAF personnel and chemical specialists, were deployed in Salisbury following the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Ms Petrova said her friend had got on well with Mr Skripal but had "not been drawn to England" when her father was handed over by Russian Federation in an exchange in Vienna in 2010.

DS Bailey's statement comes as troops descended on Salisbury for a second day, with their focus turning to an ambulance station. Skripal a retired Russian colonel recruited by British intelligence in the mid-1990s was sentenced Wednesday by a military court in Moscow to 13 years imprisonment for spying, officials said.

A convoy of military vehicles rolled into the auto park at Salisbury District Hospital on Friday to recover a police auto.

Bob Seely, a Conservative lawmaker and member of the foreign affairs select committee, said the United Kingdom should be cautious about apportioning blame but said circumstantial evidence did raise suspicions of Russian involvement.

In response to questions over Russia's possible involvement, May has said that "if action needs to be taken then the government will do that".

The nerve agent used in the attack was identified in scientific tests by Government experts earlier this week but it has yet to be named publicly.

Police have cordoned off the bench where the pair were found, as well as an Italian restaurant and a pub they visited before their collapse.

Moscow accused British politicians and journalists of whipping up anti-Russian sentiment.

"This is very likely the Russians - you don't get nerve agent down the freezer aisle in Morrisons". The suggestion is now Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned at home.

He arrived in the UK in 2010 as part of a spy swap between the United States and Russian Federation, when the two countries exchanged agents on chartered planes on a runway at an airport in Vienna, Austria.

Salisbury's MP, John Glen, and Wiltshire Police's Chief Constable Kier Preitchard have both spoken on this issue. however neither were able to give any clear indication on how long the 'heightened' state of security will last.

He said: "There obviously are some indications the officer, and I'm very sorry that he has been injured, has actually been to the house, whereas there was a doctor who looked after the patients in the open who hasn't been affected at all".

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson said there were "echoes" in this case of what happened to former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died a slow death after drinking tea laced with highly radioactive polonium-210 in 2006 in a hotel in the Mayfair section of London.

The Russian embassy in London told reporters it had not received substantive details about the case, which it said was "rather worrying".

A British public inquiry said Litvinenko's killing had probably been approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin and carried out by two Russians, Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoy. The conclusion was angrily dismissed by the Kremlin as a politically motivated smear.

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