Britain sends specialist troops to city where Russian double agent poisoned

Published: 05:02 GMT, Mar 11, 2018 |
Police officers continue to guard the scene where a forensic tent, covering the bench where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found, has been erected in the centre of Salisbury

Britain deployed specialist troops on Friday (March 9) to remove potentially contaminated objects from the English city where a Russian former double agent and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent.

Sergei Skripal, 66, who passed Russian secrets to Britain, and his daughter Yulia, 33, have been in intensive care since they were found slumped unconscious on a bench on Sunday (March 4) afternoon in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury.

About 180 troops including some with chemical expertise have been sent to the city to remove ambulances and other vehicles involved in the incident and other objects, Britain’s ministry of defence and police said. Police also cordoned off Salisbury’s cemetery where Skripal’s wife, Liudmila, is buried and officers in hazmat suit put up tent in the graveyard.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said ministry of defence has been supporting the police in their investigations “through work of military scientists”.

The incident has been likened to the case of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who died in London in 2006 after drinking green tea laced with radioactive polonium-210.

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