Search stepped up after Amesbury poisoning

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   MAJOR INCIDENT Anti-terror police have taken over the Amesbury investigation

Police said they had established that the couple were exposed to the nerve agent after "handling a contaminated item" that may have been used in the attempted murder on the Skripals.

Paramedics were called to their home which is barely eight miles from where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked with a nerve agent in March, which Britain holds Russia responsible for.

Reuters reported that Dmitry Peskov responded to comments from a British security official who said Russia had not provided full assistance in investigating an attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year.

The Russians have denied these claims, and have accused the United Kingdom of staging the entire thing just to make Russia look bad.

Sajid Javid gave the latest report on the two people found unresponsive in the town of Amesbury.

British police officers guard a cordon outside the Amesbury Baptist Centre on Wednesday.

But tests by the Porton Down military research center showed they had been exposed to Novichok.

"Meticulous and systematic searches are under way at a number of sites".

Instead, there will have to be a laborious physical search of suspected sites.

"A Wiltshire police officer is seeking medical advice at Salisbury District Hospital in connection with the ongoing incident in Amesbury".

"We have said they can come and tell us what happened".

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In what as been described by a Wiltshire Police source as a "precautionary measure" the officer, believed to be from the Wiltshire constabulary, has been admitted to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon having been taken ill. "We understand that Novichoks were created to last for months, so four months down the line, is obviously still toxic".

Uglev said that A-234 could remain deadly for a long time - even if a few tiny drops are left in a syringe or impregnated into wood.

The unexplained poisoning of two British citizens with no immediately apparent link to Russian Federation has raised public health concerns in Salisbury, where a massive decontamination effort took place after the Skripals were poisoned. Then a local couple with no obvious connection to Russian Federation or to espionage fell desperately ill and the government said Novichok was to blame.

Mr Javid told the House of Commons: "The use of chemical weapons anywhere is barbaric and inhumane".

Confirming Britain will be consulting with global partners and allies following the latest developments, Mr Javid said: "The eyes of the world are on Russian Federation, not least because of the World Cup".

But Russia quickly hit back, denouncing Britain for playing "dirty political games" and demanding London apologise. "One can only guess what the reasons behind such a line of behaviour are".

Rowley told him Sturgess had complained of headaches and then collapsed with "foam coming out of her mouth".

Sturgess and Rowley are thought to have handled a contaminated object in the Salisbury area before becoming severely unwell. He says both were taken to hospital on Saturday.

"Our strong working assumption is that the couple came into contact with the nerve agent in a different location to the sites which have been part of the original clean-up operation".

- Prime Minister Theresa May declared Salisbury is "very much open for business" after residents raised fears that the new case will hamper the local economy.

Investigators wearing camouflage protective clothing entered the John Baker House assisted-living accommodation in Salisbury, where mother-of-three Sturgess lives, after they took a sample from the outside of the building on Friday.

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