Woman sickened by nerve agent Novichok in England dies: United Kingdom police

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono prior to their breakfast meeting in Tokyo Japan on Sunday

"This awful news has only served to strengthen our resolve to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for what I can only describe as an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act", said Neil Basu, the assistant commissioner for counter terrorism with London's Metropolitan Police.

Former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter, Yulia, were poisoned four months ago in what British authorities deemed a deliberate attack. Sturgess died in hospital on Sunday and Charlie Rowley, her partner, remains critically ill.

A middle-aged British woman, who somehow came into contact with the Soviet-era nerve agent, died Sunday evening in a hospital in south England where she was being treated for exposure to the chemical weapon.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any involvement in the Skripal incident and offered to participate in a related investigation.

The police have now opened a murder investigation into Sturgess' death.

Ms Sturgess, 44, from Durrington, was rushed to hospital on Saturday 30 June after becoming ill at a house in Muggleton Road in Amesbury. Ms Sturgess has since died in hospital.

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Mr Javid said there were "no plans" for further sanctions against Russian Federation, but he repeated the government's assessment that Russian Federation was the source of the Novichok.

He said no one else in the area has shown any sign of Novichok poisoning.

This is now a murder investigation which is being led by about 100 detectives from Counter-Terrorism Police Command, alongside officers from Wiltshire police and other constabularies.

Yulia Skripal, Sergei's daughter, was in a coma for 20 days after she was attacked and was eventually discharged about five weeks after the poisoning.

But when asked directly if Russian Federation was responsible for the latest poisonings, he said it was hard to see any "other plausible explanation". Hours later, emergency workers responded to the same address after the 45-year-old man had fallen ill, police said.

Though it has not been established whether this incident is linked to the attack on the Skripals, Mr Basu said that theory was the "main line of inquiry".

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But it advised against picking up "any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers".

Officers are still trying to work out how the pair were exposed to the same nerve agent, although tests have confirmed that they touched a contaminated item with their hands.

It also emerged officers have found a red Ford Transit van which Mr Rowley travelled in with three other men before falling ill.

'But we must not lose sight of the fact that responsibility for the fact that a military-grade nerve agent was used in Salisbury and South Wiltshire, rests with Vladimir Putin's Kremlin alone'.

Nerve agent attack: What is Novichok?

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