British Police Identify Russian Suspects Behind Skripals' Poisoning, Media Says

Hearing Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to the nerve agent. Her inquest opened in Salisbury

David Ridley, senior coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon, adjourned the hearing until January 16.

Russia has declared it will reopen the closed city where Russian scientists say chemical weapons and nerve agents, including the Novichok substance used in the Salisbury chemical attack, were made.

British police have identified several Russian agents who they believe are responsible for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal.

The PA reports that Sturgess was exposed to at least 10 times the amount of nerve agent the Skripals came into contact with.

The motive for attacking Skripal, then aged 66 who was exchanged in a Kremlin-approved spy swap in 2010, is still unclear, as is the motive for using an exotic nerve agent which has such clear links to Russia's Soviet past.

Police do not believe the couple were targeted directly.

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.

Much like 2016 U.S. Election hacking, Moscow has continued to deny any involvement in the attacks and claims British intelligence is attempting to spread anti-Russia hysteria.

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Earlier Thursday, Britain's Press Association cited an unnamed person with knowledge of the investigation as saying that police believe they have identified "several Russians" as the perpetrators of the March attack.

Novichok was also the culprit in that case.

The New York Times previously reported that British investigators believed the father and daughter were likely poisoned by current or former agents of Russia's military intelligence service, known as the GRU.

Both Mr Skripal and his daughter survived the attack after being treated in hospital.

Asked about the latest developments, the Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko told the BBC: "Unfortunately, we don't have official statement of the British side".

"We would like to receive official information from the British authorities".

An inquest heard the results of a post-mortem examination would not be revealed until more tests had been carried out. They set out to determine the place and time of death as well as how the deceased came by their death, but do not apportion blame.



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