Mon, Mar 12, 2018 - Page 5 News List

Traces of nerve agent found in UK restaurant

BRITISH INVESTIGATION:A toxic substance was reportedly detected on the premises in Salisbury where the Skripals ate before their collapse

The Guardian

Members of the emergency services in protective gear on Saturday load a covered ambulance onto a military vehicle at the Salisbury District Hospital in Salisbury, England, as part of the counterterrorism investigation into the posioning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Photo: AFP

Traces of a nerve agent used in an attack on the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal have reportedly been found in the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury, England.

Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who is also critically ill, ate in the restaurant hours before they were found unconscious on Sunday last week.

On Monday last week, Wiltshire police said the restaurant, on Castle Street, had been closed “as a precaution,” and it remains cordoned off.

An ongoing forensic examination uncovered the substance in Zizzi, according to the BBC, which reported that no one else who was in the restaurant at the same time as the Skripals is believed to be in danger.

It also said there was no suggestion that any diners were connected to the nerve agent.

The Metropolitan Police, who are leading the investigation, have refused to comment on the report.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said that police have identified more than 240 witnesses and 200 pieces of evidence.

The British Ministry of Defence said armed forces personnel would be returning to Salisbury yesterday to assist for a third day.

Officers in hazmat suits have been examining the grave of Skripal’s wife and a memorial to his son, which are next to each other in a Salisbury cemetery.

Scotland Yard said no exhumations had taken place and it is understood that there has been no application to the British Ministry of Justice to permit such a move. This might indicate that police do not yet have sufficient evidence to substantiate suggestions that either died by foul means.

It has previously been reported that Liudmila died of cancer in 2012 aged 59, while Alexander Skripal died in March last year in St Petersburg, aged 43, in unknown circumstances.

“This investigation is focused on making sure that we keep people safe and also that we collect all the evidence so that when it comes to attribution [of the attack] we will be absolutely clear where it should be,” Rudd said after a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergencies committee on Saturday.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was taken ill after attending the scene of the crime, also remained in hospital, but he was recovering.

On Saturday, he released a statement saying did not consider himself a hero and was “merely doing his job.”

As well as visiting the crime scene in the city center he also visited Skripal’s Salisbury home and it is unclear where he was contaminated.

Police say 21 people have been seen for medical treatment since the incident.

The figure includes members of the public and emergency staff, some of whom have had blood tests as well as receiving support and advice.

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