United Kingdom police respond to 'poison' incident near Skripals' home

Victims were exposed to a mystery substance near Salisbury

Counter-terrorism police are now leading the investigation into the incident after tests at the Porton Down defence laboratory confirmed the nature of the substance, which Britain says is a Soviet-made military grade nerve agent.

Police said it is unclear if this incident is linked to the earlier poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, or if the batch was the same as the one that poisoned them on March 4.

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, and Public Health England will come under pressure after insisting the risk to other members of the public was low.

The man and woman were hospitalized Saturday at Salisbury District Hospital, where Sergei and Yulia Skripal spent weeks in critical condition after being poisoned in March.

Mr Dean was responding to the suggestion that the man involved used to be homeless and took drugs.

Both Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have since been discharged from hospital.

"A number of scenes, believed to be the areas the individuals frequented in the period before they fell ill, will be cordoned off overnight in and around the Amesbury and Salisbury area as a precautionary measure".

United Kingdom counter-terrorism chief Neil Basu said that the substance was 'Novichok, ' the same one that the United Kingdom claims the Skripals were poisoned with.

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"People who were affected will get a notification on Facebook encouraging them to check their blocked list", Egan added. The tech giant started an email service that offered users an @facebook.com address, in November 2010.

Wallace said he understands the Novichok finding is causing anxiety in the Salisbury area and acknowledged that intelligence services can not offer a 100 percent guarantee of public safety - there is low risk but not zero risk, he said.

A man in Amesbury, Sam Hobson, 29, told AFP he was a friend of the pair and said he saw the man fall ill. We don't have any intelligence or evidence that they were targeted in any way.

A meeting of the government's Cobra emergencies committee took place at official level yesterday morning to discuss the events and a second meeting was taking place that evening to update senior Whitehall officials. They said it was a chemical incident and then that it was drug-related.

Police have also cordoned off five locations in Amesbury and Salisbury that the couple likely visited on Saturday.

They were initially believed to have fallen ill after using crack cocaine or heroin, but are now "receiving treatment for suspected exposure to an unknown substance", Wiltshire Police said in a statement.

He said: "We know what the nerve agent is but we don't know what the transmission of it was".

They included a Baptist church. "Naturally the connection with Salisbury and recent events there mean there is a heightened public interest", Collins told the broadcaster.

The incident sparked a major diplomatic fallout between Britain and Moscow after the British government pinned the nerve agent attack on Russian Federation.

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