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UK police find source of Novichok

July 13, 2018

Tests have revealed how the victims of the UK nerve agent poisoning came into contact with the substance. Further tests are needed to see if it is the same batch that was used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

UK police in Salisbury
Image: Reuters/H. Nicholls

British police announced Friday that they found a bottle containing the Novichok nerve agent in the home of one of the victims of a nerve agent poisoning in Wiltshire last month. 

"On Wednesday, 11 July, a small bottle was recovered during searches of Charlie Rowley's house in Amesbury," police said in a statement.

The statement said scientists from Porton Down defense laboratory confirmed the bottle contained the Novichok nerve agent, the same poison used against Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year.

"Further scientific tests will be carried out to try and establish whether it is from the same batch that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March," the force said, adding that a link to the Skripals remained "a main line of enquiry for police."

Dawn Sturgess died in a hospital on Sunday after exposure to the nerve agent. Her partner, Rowley, is still in critical condition, but has regained consciousness.

The Foreign Office said on Friday it had invited independent technical experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons early next week "to independently confirm the identity of the nerve agent."

jbh/aw (AP, dpa, Reuters, AFP)