U.K. Opens Murder Probe After Woman Exposed to Nerve Agent Dies

Police officer in hospital over Novichok exposure fears'given all clear

The officer was assessed at Salisbury District Hospital

A United Kingdom woman has died after being exposed to the same type of nerve agent used against a former Russian spy and his daughter, British police said in a statement Sunday.

Britain blamed Russian Federation for the poisoning - a charge strongly denied by Moscow. "That is something that I think the world will unite with us in actually condemning".

Peskov meanwhile denied a suggestion by Russia's representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Alexander Shulgin that the incident appeared to be created to damage preparations for a meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki this month.

Police probe into unprovoked attack in SheffieldThe couple fell ill in Amesbury, Wiltshire, last Saturday after being contaminated with the same nerve agent as former Russian spy of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia ill in March.

Britain and its allies blamed Moscow for trying to kill the pair, prompting angry denials that led to an worldwide diplomatic crisis.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down confirmed on Wednesday that the victims had been exposed to Novichok.

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No-one else has presented with the same symptoms linked to this incident.

After determining that the nerve agent involved was Novichok, authorities worked on determining whether or not it was from the same batch used on the double agent and his daughter.

"Just like before, we are deeply concerned that toxic substances continue to surface on British soil", Peskov said.

"We have told our British colleagues that they are playing with fire and they will be sorry", he said.

A 45-year-old man named Charlie Rowley was still in hospital and is in critical condition.

The death of Sturgess is now being investigated as a murder.

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Central to the investigation is John Baker House, the supported-living accommodation where Ms Sturgess lived, Mr Rowley's home and Salisbury's Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which remains cordoned off. The search is focused on their homes and a park in Salisbury.

"We don't know that Russian Federation has been mentioned or associated with this", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Her family said her death had been "devastating" for them.

Basu called the death of Sturgess "shocking and tragic news".

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's top anti-terrorism police officer, said the death "has only served to strengthen our resolve" to find those responsible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has strenuously denied any involvement in either case, floating an array of theories about what might have happened and nominating an assortment of possible culprits. The Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom also offered their condolences at the loss of Sturgess. Britain has notified the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. "It's hard to escape the thought that everything was pre-planned and deliberately brought about to escalate the global situation and undermine Russia's authority and its ties with other parties".

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