British police identify suspects in Skripal attack – report | News | DW | 19.07.2018
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British police identify suspects in Skripal attack – report

UK police reportedly believe they know who carried out a nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter. It comes as police investigate the death of a woman after she came into contact with a similar nerve agent.

British police believe they have identified suspects tied to an attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia using the Novichok nerve agent, according to a report on Thursday.

Several Russians were involved in the attempted murders, a source with knowledge of the investigation told the British Press Association, adding that their identities had been confirmed by cross-checking security footage with records of people entering the country around that time.

Britain's Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace dismissed the report on Twitter, saying, "I think this story belongs in the 'ill informed and wild speculation folder,'" in response to the Press Association report.

Read more: Opinion: Dealing with Russia, Theresa May finds herself alone at home

The two Skripals were found slumped over on a bench near a shopping center in the southern town of Salisbury in March, after they were poisoned with Novichok. Both have since recovered from the attack.

British investigators declined to comment on the report. 

Russia's ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, demanded to hear from British authorities about the allegation in the news report. 

"I want to hear it from Scotland Yard or the Foreign Office," Interfax news agency reported him as saying. 

The UK, backed by France, Germany and the US, has blamed Russia for the attack, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied. The attack resulted in tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions between the two countries.

The report comes ahead of an investigation into the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, who died earlier this month after coming into contact with Novichok on June 29.

Read more: Spy assassinations: The top 5 deadly poisons

The poison was present in a bottle found at the Amesbury home of her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, who remains in critical condition in hospital. Amesbury is about 10 kilometers from Salisbury.

British counterterror police confirmed that the couple was poisoned with the same Novichok nerve agent used in the nearby Skripal poisoning.

cw,law/kms (dpa, Reuters)

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