United Kingdom mother poisoned with nerve agent Novichok dies

Amesbury incident

Amesbury incident

Dawn Sturgess, 44, died Sunday after being exposed to Novichok - the agent that poisoned Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal in March.

Rowley remains in critical condition.

The prime minister said: "Police and security officials are working urgently to establish the facts of this incident, which is now being investigated as a murder".

Her family has been informed and is receiving support from specially trained family liaison officers, the Met said, adding that a post-mortem is scheduled to take place in "due course".

Russia, which is now hosting the football World Cup, has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

Russia's embassy to Britain said on Monday it would regard the Amesbury poisoning incident which has left one woman, Dawn Sturgess dead, as an anti-Russian provocation in the absence of access to the investigation. "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, head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, said Sunday.

Earlier on Monday, the Kremlin said it would be "absurd" to suggest that Russian Federation was involved in Sturgess's death.

It comes after police launched a murder inquiry when a woman exposed to the nerve agent in Salisbury last week died.

The Britons were initially thought to have taken an overdose of heroin or crack cocaine. Both towns are in the southeast of Wiltshire, not far from the UK's highly secretive Porton Down military science and technology laboratory.

"The circumstances in the Amesbury situation are troubling: recently, such cases emerge ahead of important events", Aleksandr Shulgin, Russia's envoy to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was quoted by the Izvestia newspaper as saying in an interview published July 9.

Detectives have also pieced together a detailed timeline of Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley's movements prior to falling ill.

Despite the lack of evidence and deepening mystery many have been quick to point the finger at Russian Federation and brand the Amesbury poisoning "collateral damage". Ms Sturgess has since died in hospital.

Amber Rudd, Mr Javid's predecessor who resigned in April, had previously visited the site in Salisbury where Russian ex-spy Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok. Her father was discharged on May 18.

Dr Christine Blanshard, medical director at Salisbury District Hospital, expressed her condolences to Ms Sturgess' family and said her staff "did everything they could".

British officials have said they will raise the Novichok attack at a meeting of the leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

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