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British woman dies after exposure to Novichok nerve agent

British woman dies after exposure to Novichok nerve agent

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked" by the death of Ms Sturgess.

Basu said that Sturgess leaves behind three children, and offered thoughts and prayers for the woman's family.

Sturgess died at Salisbury District Hospital, the same facility that nursed the critically ill Skripals.

"This is shocking and tragic news", Neil Basu, of the UK's counterterrorism agency, said.

Counter-terrorism police are also studying roughly 1,300 hours of CCTV in the hope of finding clues about the couple's activities in the hours before they became violently ill.

Russian officials dismissed any claims that the Kremlin was responsible for the death of a British woman near Salisbury, in an incident that United Kingdom officials described as another case of the Novichok poisoning.

Russia, which is now hosting the football World Cup, has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

Specialists at the nearby military research laboratory at Porton Down, which specializes in the study of chemical weapons, identified the nerve agent used against the Skripals and Sturgess and Rowley as Novichok.

Javid said earlier on Sunday that police had a working hypothesis that the two poisoning incidents were connected.

"We don't know that Russian Federation has been mentioned or associated with this", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has demanded Russian Federation provide information, saying it is unacceptable "for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison".

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The death of Dawn Sturgess may not significantly change the mechanics of the Amesbury poisoning police investigation - but it will increase the pressure surrounding it.

Russian state television reports on July 9 nonetheless continued to cast doubt on the British investigations into the poisonings.

Sturgess' death comes as US President Donald Trump prepares this week to travel first to Brussels for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, then to the London area for meetings with May and the Queen, followed by a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next Monday.

Britain has notified the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

England is also preparing to play in a World Cup quarter final match in Moscow on Wednesday.

"This is, let's put it this way, more of a British problem", Peskov said.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", police said in a statement, adding that a murder inquiry had been launched.

At first, police suspected a drug overdose, but they soon realized that the symptoms were caused by an "unknown substance".

The latest poisonings have further inflamed tensions between London and Moscow.


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