Army on streets - Hundreds of UK troops descend after Russian spy 'poisoning'

Army on streets - Hundreds of UK troops descend after Russian spy 'poisoning'

March 4, 2018, unknown people poisoned Skripal and his daughter Yuliya with a strong nerve agent when they had dinner at the Zizzy restaurant in the British town of Salisbury.

Police said 21 people had been seen for medical treatment in the aftermath of the incident, but only three people were being treated.

Authorities are racing to identify the nerve agent used against the 66-year-old Skripal, who came to Britain in a spy swap in 2010, as politicians warned it showed the hallmarks of an attack by Russian Federation.

"In terms of further options, that will have to wait until we're absolutely clear what the consequences could be and what the actual source of this nerve agent has been".

"We have all been deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from staff, public and around the country - we are very grateful for this".

Russian Federation was not involved in the attempted murder of an ex-spy and is willing to help with a United Kingdom inquiry, the country's foreign minister has said. The patients would have been screened for exposure to various poisons when they were taken to hospital by testing body fluids such as blood and urine.

Doctors typically treat victims of nerve agents with atropine, which blocks the effects of acetylcholine at nerve endings; and pralidoxime, which binds to acetylcholinesterase and displaces any organophosphorus compounds present.

Britain's chief medical officer, Sally Davies, said on March 8 that the general public was not necessarily at high risk, but experts said nerve agents are risky and extremely volatile.

British government critics worry it will be difficult, if not impossible, to establish "hard evidence" that the Kremlin was behind the first-ever nerve agent attack on British soil.

Now, the investigation has moved on to trying to establish where the nerve agent came from and how it was administered.

Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is blamed for everything that goes wrong on the planet, and noted that no facts had been presented to suggest any Russian involvement in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter.

Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, OPCW leader Ahmet Uzumcu did not specifically mention Salisbury, but he said anyone who violates the treaty should be held accountable.

Highly toxic and banned in nearly all countries, nerve agents require expertise to manufacture - leading some to suspect whoever poisoned Skripal had the backing of a state.

Initial symptoms can include salivation, sweating, breathing difficulties, and a runny nose. 'Typically, if the symptoms can be controlled until the agent is removed then recovery is good. "If that is the case, then we will have a plan in place".

It had been thought that the policeman may have been exposed to the nerve agent.

"The military has the expertise and capability to respond to a range of contingencies", added a statement from the Metropolitan Police. Earlier this week the fire service was seen hosing down the area to wash away any soluble contaminants.

Twenty-one people were taken to hospital following the incident, but apart from the Skripals, only Det.

Obtaining the raw ingredients would not be too hard, but producing nerve agents, also known as organophosphorus compounds, must be carried out in a controlled environment, not a crude basement lab, the experts said. Most nerve agents aren't easy to synthesise and have to be made in a laboratory with specialist equipment.

'A key forensic issue here is to identify impurities and residues that might provide clues as to the precise chemical process used to manufacture the material, ' says Andrea Sella, an inorganic chemist at University College London, UK.

"There is no question that the authorities will be looking for the container used to deliver the material as the chemical contents would be a goldmine", Sella said. With this information it might well be possible to trace the origin of the substance'.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed Britain's warnings of retaliation were propaganda and not serious.

Skripal would appear to be an unusual target for the Russian authorities, however.

Sergei spent four years in jail in Russia after he was found guilty in 2006 of being a double agent and divulging Russian secrets to MI6, U.K.'s foreign intelligence service. Yulia, who lives in Moscow, was visiting her father in Salisbury at the time of the attack. He was granted a British passport shortly before his death.

'We are carrying out extensive inquiries to establish exactly the circumstances behind this incident, ' Rowley said.