Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Britain opens murder case on woman dead from Russian nerve agent

Britain opens murder case on woman dead from Russian nerve agent

"Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely hard time", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, said Sunday.

"Detectives are working as quickly and as diligently as possible to identify the source of the contamination, but this has not been established at this time".

The investigation has been hindered because police were unable to speak to Mrs Sturgess before she died and Mr Rowley remains in a coma.

The British woman who was recently exposed to the same nerve agent that nearly killed a Russian spy and his daughter earlier this year has died, police said Sunday.

The decision by Basu, who heads Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command, to link the two attacks on Monday increases the pressure on Russian Federation.

"This has been done both as a precautionary measure and to assist investigators in piecing together the facts behind this terrible incident".

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked" by the death of Dawn Sturgess, one of two people who fell ill last weekend in Amesbury, near the town of Salisbury on Sunday.

Ms Sturgess leaves behind three children.

The investigation is being led by detectives from Britain's Counter Terrorism Policing Network and around 100 detectives are working round the clock alongside colleagues from Wiltshire police. "The government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy".

Sturgess collapsed on the morning of June 30 and was taken to hospital.

Police say that Rowley remains critically ill.

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, were found unconscious.

"This activity has centred on Dawn's address at John Baker House, Salisbury, Charlie's address in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, and Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury", Mr Basu said.

Officials said they had come into contact with the deadly nerve agent Novichok, which was manufactured in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The Kremlin denies accusations that it tried to assassinate Mr Skripal with Novichok and that it is responsible for the death on Sunday of Mrs Sturgess, a mother of three.

Russian Federation has reportedly denied involvement in both incidents.

The second nerve agent emergency in four months prompted a diplomatic row, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid accusing the Russian state of using Britain as a "dumping ground for poison".

"I simply can not offer any guarantees", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of Britain's counter-terror police, which is leading the investigation, told reporters, emphasising that public health authorities had said the risk was "low".

Nerve agents kill by affecting the nervous system in various ways.

"Because the nerve agents compromise nerve and muscle function, their effects are widespread and where deaths occur these are usually due to either respiratory or circulatory failure, or both", he said. Very few people outside Russian Federation have experience with it.

'But we must not lose sight of the fact that responsibility for the fact that a military-grade nerve agent was used in Salisbury and South Wiltshire, rests with Vladimir Putin's Kremlin alone'. "It's a awful scene", Mirzayanov said.

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