Amesbury poisoning: couple 'handled novichok container'

The officer was given the all-clear

The officer was given the all-clear

Here is a timeline of events since Novichok was identified in the poisoning of the Skripals in the southwestern English city of Salisbury in March, and resurfaced in the same area in July in a British couple.

There is no evidence that Sturgess and the other victim visited any of the sites that had been decontaminated after the Skripals' poisoning, police said, adding that they could not say whether the nerve agent came from the same batch as the one the Skripals came in contact with. "Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely hard time", Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of the United Kingdom counter terrorism policing, said in the statement.

But when asked directly if Russian Federation was responsible for the latest poisonings, he said it was hard to see any "other plausible explanation". Moscow rejects the claim.

Moscow hit back by expelling Western diplomats.

The following day, Britain, France, Germany and the United States also blame Russian Federation.

"At any case, we believe it would be quite absurd", said the Kremlin spokesman.

Britain has notified the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Up to 50 more British diplomatic staff will be kicked out, it says.

The Kremlin demands an apology and on April 4 its foreign intelligence chief says the case is a "grotesque provocation. concocted by the British and American security services". After reviving from comas, both were released.

Two days later, the OPCW confirms Britain's findings on the nerve agent but does not apportion blame.

Authorities are still investigating the incident, which has been widely speculated to be a revenge hit by Russian intelligence services or organised crime - part of a pattern of allegedly suspicious deaths of supposed traitors to the Russian state living overseas in the UK.

On April 17, an operation begins to clean up affected areas of Salisbury. Her father was discharged on May 18. Both she and Rowley were admitted to Salisbury District Hospital, the same hospital where the Skripals were treated.

Later they confirm that the man and woman had come into contact with Novichok.

Britain, which blamed Russian Federation for the attack against the Skripals, so far has not directly pointed the finger at Russian Federation in the case involving Sturgess and Rowley, saying the investigation, led by the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, is ongoing.

Maria Zakharova said: 'This is no longer a laughing matter for MPs in Britain.

Russian Federation hit back, denouncing Britain for playing "dirty political games".

Despite being rushed to intensive care, Sturgess died on Sunday evening, and police have now launched a murder inquiry.

Sturgess and Rowley fell ill on June 30.

On Sunday, a woman who was exposed to the substance in Amesbury, Wiltshire, died in hospital.

May 23: Yulia Skripal speaks at an undisclosed location to media outlets, describing an "extremely painful" recovery process and expressing shock over being subjected to a nerve agent.

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