British woman Dawn Sturgess exposed to Novichok nerve agent dies

Amesbury incident

Charles Rowley, 45, who was also exposed to the nerve agent, remains hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

Police said they would be led by the evidence but confirmed a link between the Amesbury case and the Salisbury attack was a main line of inquiry.

Britain and its allies accused Russian Federation of killing double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, while Russian Federation denies any involvement in the Skripals" case calling the allegations a "fake story'.

The couple's poisoning comes four months after a former Russian spy and his daughter were targeted in Salisbury.

Basu gave a press statement following the death of Dawn Sturgess, 44, from exposure to a nerve agent.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing which is leading the investigation, said he was "unable to say" if the incident in Amesbury is linked to the poisoning of the Skripals on 3 March - but it is their "main line of inquiry".

The Counter-Terrorism Policing Network and about 100 detectives are working on the investigation with Witshire Police, BBC News reported. Officials say the search and cleanup operation will take weeks or even months to complete.

Police suspect Sturgess and Rowley picked up vial that contained the poison, and are trying to find out exactly what they found and where. While Russia made a point previous year of destroying its last remaining stockpiles of publicly declared chemical weapons, Reuters noted that it is "not believed to have ever declared Novichok or its ingredients to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)".

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Ms Sturgess has since died in hospital.

Scotland Yard said they have launched a murder investigation - the second major probe involving the nerve agent this year, following the case of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March.

Police said Ms Sturgess' family had been notified and were receiving support.

Moscow says London has declined its offers for a joint investigation into the poisonings. U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has demanded Russian Federation provide information, saying it is unacceptable "for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison".

The Defense Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down told police on July 4 that the British couple had been exposed to Novichok nerve agent.

The Kremlin said on July 9 it was sorry that Dawn Sturgess died in hospital after being exposed to Novichok and added that it was "quite absurd" to link Russian Federation to the poisoning.

It is not believed that the couple in the latest poisoning incident had visited the sites connected to the Skripals in Salisbury, he said.

Anyone else who saw the pair or met with them who hasn't yet been spoken to is urged to contact police on 0800 789 321.

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