British Police Confirm Source Of Novichok Poisoning

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu

The nerve agent Novichok - the same poison that nearly killed Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia - was recovered inside a small bottle during searches of Charlie Rowley's Amesbury home Wednesday and was taken for tests, The Independent reported Friday afternoon.

Rowley, 45, was the partner of Dawn Sturgess, 44, who died this month, just over a week after she was exposed to the Novichok in Amesbury, which is only a few kilometers from the Salisbury site where the Skripals were poisoned.

The substance was discovered in a small bottle found in victim Charlie Rowley's house in Amesbury, southwest England, on Wednesday. "Scientists have now confirmed to us that the substance contained within the bottle is Novichok".

Rowley's home, where the couple were found unconscious, is about 10 miles from where Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy who later went to work for the British government, and daughter Yulia were poisoned.

Anyone with questions or concerns can call the dedicated phone-line, staffed by police and public health, between 8am and 8pm: 0800 0920 410 or 0207 158 0124.

Her husband, Mr Rowley has since regained consciousness but remains in serious condition, as hospital staff continue to treat him.

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said the discovery of the bottle was "significant and encouraging".

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Neil Basu, head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism police, which are heading up the probe, said the discovery was "a significant and positive development". "However, we can not guarantee that there isn't any more of the substance left", Basu said.

A murder inquiry was started following the death of Ms Sturgess, a mother of three, on Sunday.

Peter Wilson, the country's permanent representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), asked for the group's assistance, according to a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

More than 100 police officers had been searching for the source of Rowley and Sturgess' exposure in the town of Amesbury, where they lived, and Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned.

"This will free up some Wiltshire Police officers to get back to supporting day-to-day community policing".

As a precaution members of the public are continuing to be urged to not to pick up items such as syringes, needles, cosmetics or similar objects made of materials such as metal, plastic or glass.

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