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Use of nerve agent on ex-spy a brazen attack: Rudd

IANS  |  London 

The use of a nerve agent in an attempted assassination of a former Russian and his daughter who remained unconscious and in a critical condition after falling suddenly ill in a southern English city was a brazen and attack, UK's said on Thursday.

Forensic analysis concluded that ex-and his daughter Yulia fell suddenly ill after they were exposed to a nerve agent on Sunday evening, told the House of Commons, adding it was too early to speculate who orchestrated the crime, news agency reported.

She said that the to respond to the emergency -- who also became seriously ill through exposure to the toxic substance -- remained in intensive care but had now regained consciousness.

"The use of a nerve agent on UK soil is a brazen and act," said. "This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way," she added, saying that people were right to want to know who to hold to account.

"But, if we want to be rigorous in this investigation, we must avoid speculation and allow the police to carry on their investigation," she went on to say.

In 2006, former Skripal was convicted of high treason by a for passing on state secrets to British intelligence, but he was granted asylum in the UK four years later as part of a prisoner swap.

This latest attack on British soil harbored echoes of the 2006 assassination in of Russian defector

A UK public inquiry concluded that Russian had authorised Litvinenko's murder, a finding that the Kremlin has vehemently denied.

has also denied having any information on the Skripal case.

said UK counter-terror units were following hundreds of leads in order to trace the perpetrators of the nerve agent in Salisbury, a picturesque and normally tranquil cathedral city in the county of

did not reveal the type of that was used in the assault, but earlier told the press that it was "very rare".

Sergei and were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury on Sunday, prompting a huge emergency incident as police closed down a nearby restaurant where they are thought to have eaten that evening and also a pub where they had a drink.

Both victims remained unconscious, in a critical but stable condition, said.



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First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 21:48 IST