Sergei Skripal poisoning: What is a nerve agent?

Glen Norman
March 10, 2018

As investigators worked to trace the origin of the unnamed substance, about 180 troops with chemical expertise deployed to remove potentially contaminated objects in Salisbury, England, reported Reuters.

Former London police chief Ian Blair said Friday that Bailey had visited Skripal's house - perhaps a hint that the nerve agent may have been delivered there.

A spokesman said: "The public should not be alarmed and the public health advice remains the same".

That has led to the theory that Skripal and his daughter had been poisoned at the ex-MI6 agent's house in Christie Miller Road, and not the restaurant Zizzi where they dined before collapsing.

Sergeant Nick Bailey, one of first officers to find the pair slumped on a bench outside a shopping centre and who was later hospitalised in intensive care, was sitting up and talking on Thursday, according to police.

Scientific tests by government experts have identified the specific substance used, which will help identify the source, but authorities have refused to disclose the details.

The Home Secretary urged caution on speculation about who is responsible.

She said: "I understand people's curiosity about all those questions, wanting to have answers, and there will be a time to have those answers".

British officials say they are consulting with their US and European counterparts to discuss a coordinated response, if the Kremlin is found to have been involved in the assassination attempt. Prime Minister Theresa may called the incident "appalling and irresponsible attack".

"In terms of further options, that will have to wait until we're absolutely clear what the consequences could be, and what the actual source of this nerve agent has been", Rudd said after visiting Salisbury and seeing the area around the bench where Skripal was found, now covered by a police forensics tent.

"Following the incident in Salisbury on Sunday, we are treating three inpatients at Salisbury District Hospital".

The two remain in critical condition in a Salisbury hospital, while authorities say Bailey is making progress toward recovery. "We'll do that properly, at the right time, and on the basis of the best evidence". "I am grateful for the work that the local community are giving them". "We are very proud of our staff and we would like to use this opportunity to thank them for the professionalism and the way they have responded to this incident".

Police have cordoned off sites including Skripal's house, a vehicle, the cemetery where his wife is buried, a restaurant and a pub.

Mrs May's new intervention came after the police confirmed a rare nerve agent was used in the attempted assassination in Salisbury on Sunday.

Russian Federation would consider helping United Kingdom authorities investigate the poisoning of a former spy, the country's foreign minister said.

"It is possible that it is related to the elections in Russia or that it is part of a battle between the elites within the security services, to send messages either to the English or to the Russian elites", he said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Tuesday that it was "too early to speculate" about what had happened to Skripal and his daughter, but noted that Britain would "respond appropriately and robustly" if the Russian government were found responsible. British police are investigating the possibility that the Russian state was behind the poisoning.

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