'Very anxious' police officer recovers from nerve agent attack

'Very anxious' police officer recovers from nerve agent attack

'Very anxious' police officer recovers from nerve agent attack

The ex-spy and his daughter remain in critical condition.

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair said the "extraordinary attack in Salisbury" is a good reason to investigate whether there is a pattern of former British intelligence collaborators dying in the UK.

Police sergeant Nick Bailey, 38, is also in a serious condition.

Wiltshire County police say that "around 21 people", including the Skripals, have received treatment following the attack.

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.

"The public should not be alarmed", counterterrorism police, who are leading the investigation, said in a statement.

The news comes as a British police official has updated the number of people who sought treatment after the nerve agent attack, saying "around 21" had been given medical help and support.

They said experts had identified the substance, which will help determine the source, but have not yet disclosed to the public what it was.

Last night Tory MP Sir Mike Penning, a former policing minister, said: "The bravery of officers like this needs to be recognised when this is all over".

In addition to his home and vehicle, police have cordoned off the cemetery where Skripal's wife is buried as well as The Mill pub in Salisbury.

Britain's chief medical officer, Sally Davies, said on March 8 that the general public was not necessarily at high risk, but experts said nerve agents are risky and extremely volatile.

Sergey Lavrov's comments in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa came as British investigators scrambled to unravel the nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. "This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way".

The nerve agent attack occurred in Salisbury in south England and specifically targeted Sergei and his daughter, who were both found slumped and unconscious on a bench outside a shopping center in the city on Sunday afternoon. "This is not serious, it is pure propaganda and whipping up hysteria", Lavrov said.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with Det Sgt Bailey, adding: "The events of Sunday are a stark reminder, if ever one was needed, of the unsafe situations our emergency services face, and the dedication and courage they display every day in order to keep us safe".

Blair, the former London police chief, called for a review of the deaths of 14 Russians in the United Kingdom amid suggestions they were targeted by the Russian state.

Those branded enemies of the Russian state have sometimes died mysteriously overseas, and the Skripal case echoes the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian agent who was poisoned in London in 2006 with radioactive polonium-210.

The incident in Salisbury has drawn comparisons with the 2006 death of former Russian security agent Aleksandr Litvinenko in London.

Other options could be the repatriation of British diplomats from Russia "to show we are not interested in Russia" or, on the contrary, "the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Britain".

In a secret trial at a Moscow military court, he confessed to his treachery and to selling the names, addresses and codenames of several dozen Russian agents to MI6, Russian media said when his conviction was announced in 2006.

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

"London has certain advantages and Russians have always found London particularly attractive", according to Robert Barrington of Transparency International.

He was rushed to hospital after he raced to the side of Mr Skripal and his daughter following the suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury earlier this week.

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