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Britain

Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter ‘were poisoned on their doorstep’ say UK police

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 4:55am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 March, 2018, 8:45pm

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter first came into contact with a nerve agent at their home address in Britain, police said on Wednesday as the high-profile probe into the attack continues.

“At this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent from their front door,” said Dean Haydon from London’s Metropolitan Police.

The March 4 attack on the Skripals in the English city of Salisbury has been met with a major response that has seen more than 150 Russian diplomats expelled from countries around the world. 

British authorities have blamed Moscow, which denies any involvement, and said a Soviet-designed nerve agent dubbed Novichok was used in the poisoning.

More than 130 Russian diplomats expelled from 20 countries in fallout from ex-spy poisoning 

“Traces of the nerve agent have been found at some of the other scenes detectives have been working at over the past few weeks, but at lower concentrations to that found at the home address,” said Haydon.

Investigators had earlier sealed off the bench where the Skripals were found unconscious, a pub and restaurant the pair visited, and the grave of the former spy’s wife.

Police said around 250 counterterrorism detectives are currently working on the case, which could continue for months.

“Those living in the Skripals’ neighbourhood can expect to see officers carrying out searches as part of this but I want to reassure them that the risk remains low and our searches are precautionary,” said Haydon.

The Skripals remain in a coma in hospital, while a police officer who responded to the attack was discharged last week.   

On Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the Skripals’ “condition is unlikely to change in the near future, and they may never recover fully.”