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The UK government today deployed chemical warfare and decontamination specialists from the military to assist the counter terror police in its probe into the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent.
About 180 military personnel from the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other military establishments were deployed in Salisbury in the south-west England, where the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66 and his daughter Yulia, 33 were found collapsed after being poisoned on Sunday afternoon.
The Counter Terrorism Policing Network has requested assistance from the military to remove a number of vehicles and objects from the scene in Salisbury town centre as they have the necessary capability and expertise. The public should not be alarmed and the public health advice remains the same, the Scotland Yard said in a statement.
We have the right people with the right skills to assist with this crucial inquiry. This is a dreadful incident and my thoughts remain with the victims and their families, he said.
At the moment our priority is going to be the incident. In terms of further options, that will have to wait until were absolutely clear what the consequences could be and what the actual source of this nerve agent has been, she added.
According to reports, Bailey was poisoned at the Skripal family home in Salisbury, indicating that the nerve agent was administered there.
A nerve agent is most toxic if weaponised in an aerosol spray and takes immediate effect.
Yesterday, the investigation had widened as police sealed off the graves of Skripal's wife, Liudmila, and his son, Alexander, and said 21 people had been treated as a result of the incident.
Rudd has refused to speculate on whether the Russian state might have been involved in the attack, saying the police investigation should be based on "facts, not rumour.
Colonel Skripal was convicted of treason in 2006 and jailed for 13 years for selling secrets to MI6, which had recruited him in the 1990s. The senior intelligence officer with Russian military intelligence GRU, was pardoned in a spy swap in 2010and settled in Salisbury, Wiltshire.