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Ex-spy and daughter targeted with nerve agent

Key points

:: Sergei Skripal and daughter targeted with nerve agent

:: Both fighting for their lives after incident in Salisbury

:: Incident being treated as attempted murder

:: Police officer also in serious condition

:: Home Secretary has chaired Cobra meeting

‘Outrageous affront to our security’

Rob Wainwright, head of Europe’s crime-fighting agency Europol, has responded to the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

He tweeted: “Of course we should exercise caution before jumping to any conclusions but, whoever is responsible – and there are not 101 likely offenders – this is an outrageous affront to our security in Europe and our way of life.”

Salisbury residents should be reassured that Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has said there is a “low risk to the public” and that all sites thought to have been visited in the incident on Sunday have been secured.

If you were in the centre of Salisbury on Sunday afternoon and have information that could be useful to the investigation please call 999. If you have any relevant images or video footage please send to http://ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk 

‘Deeply troubling’

Salisbury MP John Glen has responded to the latest police update.

Very concerned to hear the latest information from @metpoliceuk that a police officer on the scene in Salisbury on Sunday is now in a serious condition at the hospital. And the confirmed use of a nerve agent against my constituents is deeply troubling.

How is a nerve agent administered? 

There are a number of options as to how the poison could have been administered.

Sky News science correspondent Thomas Moore says “generally speaking it is a liquid hazard, to turn it into a gas you need heat. That doesn’t seem likely in this instance”.

Putting the liquid into a spray so it enters the body through the eyes or skin can be a quick way to administer the poison, and can lead to instant death.

Secreting the liquid into a drink or into food are also possibilities, but would tend to have a slower effect than direct skin contact.

‘The UK will respond robustly’

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has described the events in Salisbury as “very troubling”.

He said: “If this does turn out to be in any way the result of hostile activity by another government, or directed, led, by another government, then the people of this country can be absolutely sure that the UK will respond robustly.”

Russia World Cup 

The Duke of Cambridge has no plans to attend this summer’s World Cup in Russia, a royal source has told the Press Association.

It comes after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was “very difficult to imagine” UK officials attending the event “in the normal way” if Russia is found to be behind the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

William is president of the Football Association and attended the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will seek an oral statement in the House of Commons on Thursday to provide an update on events in Salisbury.

Nerve agents 

Nerve agents, which are chemical weapons, have been used in assassinations and attacks in war zones in recent years.

Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed at an international airport in Malaysia last year in an attack using a nerve agent known as VX.

Another well-known nerve agent, sarin gas, was used killed more than 90 people in a rebel-held area in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, drawing international condemnation of the Bashar Assad regime.

All sites that Mr Skripal and his daughter visited have been secured, Dame Sally said.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said there was a “low risk to the public”.

Police have urged anyone who visited Salisbury town centre or the surrounding areas on Sunday afternoon to contact them.

Mr Rowley said police work in Salisbury may take several days.

Mr Rowley said hundreds of officers are working on the case including establishing why Mr Skripal and his daughter were targeted.

Mr Rowley described the incident as “awful” but there is no evidence of a “widespread health risk”.

Police have not revealed the exact substance used but say they are working with scientists and Public Health England.

Mr Skripal and his daughter are still in a critical condition. The police officer in a serious condition was one of the first on the scene

Mr Skripal and his daughter were targeted specifically, police say, and an officer is in a serious condition.

Incident being treated as attempted murder with administration of nerve agent, Mr Rowley says.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley and Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, giving update.

An update from the Metropolitan Police, which is leading the investigation, is expected shortly.

What’s happening?

Police are investigating the suspected poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

Earlier, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police had more information about the substance.

Speaking after chairing a COBRA meeting, she said: “This is likely to be a lengthy investigation.

“We need to make sure we respond to evidence, not rumour.

“We do know more about this substance. We must let the police carry on this work, and they will share more information this afternoon.

“There is a lot of information about him (Mr Skripal) but I am not going to comment further about that.”

Key points

:: Sergei Skripal and daughter targeted with nerve agent

:: Both fighting for their lives after incident in Salisbury

:: Incident being treated as attempted murder

:: Police officer also in serious condition

:: Home Secretary has chaired Cobra meeting

Good afternoon

Welcome to Sky’s rolling coverage of a former Russian spy and his daughter, who are fighting for their lives after a potential “poisoning” in Salisbury on Monday.

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Posted by on March 7, 2018.

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