Novichok poisoning: police 'identify Russian suspects'

Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley

British police are believed to have identified the suspected perpetrators of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, The Sun wrote on Thursday.

According to London, former Russian military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of an alleged nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury on March 4. The Skripals subsequently recovered.

"They (the investigators) are sure they (the suspects) are Russian".

"Investigators identified the suspected perpetrators through CCTV and have cross-checked the footage with records of people who entered the country around that time", the Press Association was cited as saying by ITV.

The update into what happened comes as an inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, is about to open.

Dawn Sturgess died eight days after being exposed to 10 times the amount of nerve agent the former double agent and his daughter came into contact with.

The same batch of Novichok is believed to have killed another woman and left her partner critically ill in hospital.

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The park, as well as other locations in Salisbury and nearby Amesbury, were cordoned off last month.

They are trying to establish where the container, thought to be a bottle of perfume , originated from, and how Mr Rowley and Ms Sturgess first encountered it.

Last week counter-terrorism detectives revealed they had found a small bottle containing Novichok at Mr Rowley's Amesbury home.

A high police presence remains in Salisbury and Amesbury as searches of properties and a clean-up of public places continues.

A top team from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have been called in to assist investigations.

They returned to the Hague on Wednesday with collected samples.

Mike Wade, Public Health England deputy director for health protection in the South West, said the risk to the public remains low. 'The advice remains - if you didn't drop it, then don't pick it up'.

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