AMESBURY, England - Britain’s interior minister demanded Thursday that Russia explain how two people were inadvertently poisoned with the same military-grade nerve agent used against a former Russian spy and his daughter, insisting that it was unacceptable that English towns become “dumping grounds for poison.”
A man and woman in their 40s were in critical condition at a hospital in southwest England after they fell ill Saturday near Salisbury, a city not far from Britain’s iconic Stonehenge monument.
Experts at Britain’s Porton Down chemical weapons laboratory have determined that the two were exposed to the same type of Novichok nerve agent that was used to attack ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4 in Salisbury.
May also interest you: Former Malaysia leader charged with breach of trust and graft
Britain has accused Russia of being behind the Skripal attack but the Kremlin denies any involvement.
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament on Thursday that it is now time for Russia to explain “exactly what has gone on.” “It is completely unacceptable for our people to be either deliberate or accidental targets, or for our streets, our parks, our towns to be dumping grounds for poison,” Javid said.
The unexplained poisoning of two British citizens with no apparent link to Russia raised health concerns in Salisbury, where a massive decontamination effort took place after the Skripal poisoning case.
There was no panic as police cordons sprang up again and police stood guard near potential contamination sites Thursday.