180 troops arrive in Salisbury to investigate poisoning of former Russian spy

180 troops arrive in Salisbury to investigate poisoning of former Russian spy

It explained that the counterterrorism division had requested assistance from the military to "remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene".

A entrance sign stands outside Salisbury District Hospital where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were taken after being found critically ill March 4, 2018, in Salisbury, England.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd was to chair the meeting of the committee, known as COBRA, at 1500 GMT to receive updates on the police case, the government said.

The UK is preparing retaliatory measures if it's shown that Russian Federation was responsible for the attack on Skripal who had settled in Salisbury, southern England after a spy swap in 2010.

Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, was convicted in 2006 of spying for Britain and was released by Moscow in 2010 as part of a spy swap.

A convoy of military vehicles rolled into the auto park at Salisbury District Hospital on Friday to recover a police auto.

Sergey Lavrov said "whether it's poisoning of some British subjects, whether it's rumours about interference in the USA election campaign, if assistance really is needed, then we are ready to consider its possibility".

"You can not tolerate a government assassination on British soil - it is absolutely beyond the pale and needs a reaction", he said.

Government experts have identified the substance, which will help identify the source, but have not made the information public.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in London described comments by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who vowed a "robust response" in the event that state involvement was proved - as "strongly anti-Russian". British authorities have not disclosed what nerve agent was involved.

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British papers reported that the London government was mulling over retaliatory measures against Russian Federation in case the theory of Moscow's involvement is confirmed. Officers were guarding the area where he and his daughter were found, along with a pizza restaurant and a pub they had visited.

He arrived in the UK in 2010 as part of a spy swap between the United States and Russian Federation, when the two countries exchanged agents on chartered planes on a runway at an airport in Vienna, Austria.

Suspicion is mounting that Russian Federation attempted to kill the former intelligence officer and his daughter as an act of revenge against Mr Skripal, who was convicted in 2006 of selling state secrets to MI6.

DS Bailey attended the bench where the pair, aged 66 and 33, were slumped and later reportedly went to Mr Skripal's house.

Additionally, Police believe that the two were specifically targeted, the Associated Press reported.

The attack has been likened to the assassination 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.

Kremlin foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters the story "was straight away used to boost an anti-Russian campaign in the media".

Many in British media and politics have speculated that Russian Federation could have played a part in the attack on Skripal, but Rudd reiterated that it was too early to say who was responsible, and police should be given the time and space to determine the facts.

'She told me she liked everything there, ' she said.