Nerve Agent Used in Attempted Murder of Russian Ex-Spy, British Police Say

2018/3/7 23:51:15

A combo photo of Sergei Skripal (left) and his daughter Yulia


From RFE/RL, Last Updated March 07, 2018 1829 GMT


British police say a nerve agent was used to try to kill former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the southwestern city of Salisbury.


This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder, by administration of a nerve agent, Mark Rowley, head of Counterterrorism Policing, said on March 7.


I can also confirm that we believe that the two people who became unwell were targeted specifically, he added, without giving details of the substance used.


Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench outside a shopping mall in Salisbury after stopping at a nearby restaurant and pub, and remain “critically ill,” Rowley said.


A police officer who also became ill after attending the scene is in a “serious condition in hospital, he added.


Nerve agents such as sarin are highly toxic chemicals that disrupt the nervous system and shut down bodily functions.


Skripal was arrested in Moscow in December 2004 and convicted by a Moscow military court in August 2006 of high treason in the form of espionage.


He was found guilty of passing the identities of Russian intelligence agents working undercover in Europe to Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, in return for $100,000.


Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged he had begun working for MI6 while serving in the army in the 1990s.


Earlier on March 7, Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd called for “cool heads” as the investigation into the Salisbury incident moves forward.


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