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Scotland Yard: Wiltshire couple exposed to Novichok

Scotland Yard: Wiltshire couple exposed to Novichok

Police are focusing on how that came about and are unable to say whether it was the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to.

Peskov said Russian Federation was anxious by the most recent attacks and was unaware of any requests to investigate the latest incident, Reuters reported. "How dumb (do) they think (Russia) is to use "again" so-called "Novichok" in the middle of the FIFA World Cup", Russia's embassy to the Netherlands wrote on Twitter on Thursday, stressing the importance of hosting the tournament to Russia.

The March attack prompted the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War as allies sided with Britain's view that Moscow was either responsible or had lost control of the nerve agent.

Nikolai Kovalev, former head of KGB successor the FSB, told Moscow news agency Interfax an ex-employee at Porton Down chemical laboratories with mental health issues might be to blame.

The two Britons, a 44-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, fell critically ill after handling what police called a contaminated item near the site of the March attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

The man and woman are now critically ill in England's Salisbury District Hospital, where the Skripals were previously treated. "I would add that the complex investigation into the attempted murders of Yulia and Sergei remains ongoing and detectives continue to sift through and assess all the available evidence and are following every possible lead to identify those responsible, for what remains a reckless and barbaric criminal act", he adds.

A number of sites are being searched in the town of Amesbury, where the couple fell ill, and the nearby city of Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned.

"It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks and towns to be dumping grounds for poison", he told parliament.

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Security Minister Ben Wallace told BBC News Thursday that the couple is likely just a victim of the consequences of the earlier attack and that they were not directly targeted.

"We would still assert to a very high assurance that the Russian state was behind the original attack".

Although he went on to say they haven't ruled out the two cases might be linked.

Wallace said the Russian government could "put this wrong right" by providing details about the Skripal poisoning.

Police officers on the scene outside Harcourt Medical Centre by Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury, thought to be connected to a man and woman in Amesbury who are in hospita in critical condition.

By lunchtime, Scotland Yard releases a short statement making clear that, "as you would expect, given the recent events in Salisbury", officers from the counter-terrorism network are now involved in the investigation.

He said: "She was celebrating after England got through their World Cup group and she was looking forward to celebrating with her friends".

England will play Russian Federation in the competition's semi-finals if both sides win their quarter-final ties against Sweden and Croatia respectively.


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