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The Latest: British police say victims handled poison vessel

July 9, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into the deadly nerve agent poisoning in Britain (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

British police say they believe the latest victims of poisoning by nerve agent Novichok must have handled the material’s container.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said Monday the death of Dawn Sturgess the day before shows that she and her partner Charlie Rowley were exposed to a “high dose” of the military-grade nerve agent.

He said the working theory is that their exposure was linked to the earlier Novichok attack in March on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Basu says more than 100 police are working to try and search all areas where Sturgess and Rowley had been before they became ill nine says ago. The search is focused on their homes and a park in Salisbury.

Rowley remains in critical condition in a Salisbury hospital.

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2: p.m.

A Kremlin spokesman has expressed condolences over the death of a British woman who was poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent last month.

Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday that Moscow “is deeply concerned over the continuous cases of these poison elements” in Britain. Peskov added that such attacks present a danger not only inside the UK, but also in Europe as a whole.

Peskov said that linking Russia to the poisoning would be “absurd.”

Asked whether the death could cloud the upcoming US-Russia summit in Helsinki next week, Peskov replied that the poisoning “has not relation” to the meeting. He said “it’s Britain’s problem and the problem of how interested Britain is in a real investigation.”

Moscow says London has declined its offers for a joint investigation into the poisonings.

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