180 troops arrive in Salisbury to investigate poisoning of former Russian spy

Randolph Lopez
March 11, 2018

Wiltshire Police, the local force, issued a statement on Bailey's behalf in which he thanked the public for messages of support he had received.

On Thursday, officers sealed off the gravestone of Mr Skripal's wife Liudmila, who was buried in 2012, and the memorial stone of his son Alexander, who was cremated past year, as the trail of evidence grew.

Many in British media and politics have speculated that Russian Federation could have played a part in the attack on Skripal, but Rudd reiterated that it was too early to say who was responsible, and police should be given the time and space to determine the facts.

The grave of Mr Skripal's wife Liudmila, who was buried in 2012, and the memorial stone of his son Alexander, who was cremated a year ago, were cordoned off at the London Road cemetery.Apparent fears of chemical contamination have also seen Mr Skripal's home cordoned off while detectives attempt to pin down the origins of the substance used to incapacitate him.

Counter-terrorism police asked for military assistance to remove vehicles and objects from the scene in the city centre, much of which has been cordoned off over contamination fears.

Rudd said the discovery of a nerve agent from the investigation meant the incident was therefore being treated as attempted murder.

Identifying the source of the nerve agent continues to be central to the probe, but Rudd has so far declined to name any potential culprits.

The father and daughter were found unconscious March 4 on a bench in Salisbury; Skripal lived in the town, located 90 miles (140 kilometers) southwest of London.

Western intelligence services consider Russian Federation a leading suspect based on previous attacks that used a similar substance and method, a Western intelligence official told CNN.

My Skripal's wife is buried at the cemetery and his son's memorial is also there
Image My Skripal’s wife is buried at the cemetery and his son’s memorial is also there

If a Moscow link were proved, it would plunge relations between the West and Russian Federation to a new low.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow might be willing to help with the investigation but expressed resentment at suggestions the Kremlin was behind the attack. He said Russian Federation was ready to assist "any investigation" but that it was "not necessary to hurl unfounded accusations on TV".

Bob Seely, a Conservative lawmaker and member of the foreign affairs select committee, said the United Kingdom should be cautious about apportioning blame but said circumstantial evidence did raise suspicions of Russian involvement.

Rudd led Saturday's talks and briefed senior cabinet ministers, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, on the police investigation.

The circumstances of the attack, and its echoes of the fatal poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, have prompted questions over the Government's response if the evidence points to a state-sponsored assassination plot.

A British inquiry found that Russia was responsible for Litvinenko's killing, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably approved it.

The meeting was similar to the ones convened after extremist attacks and other threats to Britain's national security. If that is arresting a couple of people and getting them in jail, then that is what we shall do. "And we shall look at those - all".

"The Government will not be acting precipitously in response to what has happened". "Once these are established, then and only then, will an appropriate and proportionate course of action be taken", the lawmaker said.

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