Ex-Russian spy was exposed to nerve agent: UK police

Ex-Russian spy was exposed to nerve agent: UK police
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A former Russian spy who was in critical condition after being exposed to a substance was poisoned by a nerve agent, British authorities said Wednesday.

Police believe both former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter were exposed to the agent, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Mark Rowley, Britain’s top police official for counterterrorism and international security, said the two “were targeted specifically.”

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“This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder by administration of a nerve agent,” he said, according to the Times.

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the incident.

Martin Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that any suggestion Russia was involved are part of an organized plot to hurt relations between Russia and Britain.

“Before it was clear what happened, the traditional speculation was being put about,” she said, according to the Times.

Skripal and his daughter were found on a park bench in Salisbury on Tuesday. He was seen looking toward the sky while making strange hand movements, while the woman appeared to be unconscious.

He was one of four Russians exchanged for 10 “sleeper” agents placed by the Russian government in the U.S. in 2010. 

In 2006, he was sentenced to 13 years in jail in Russia after identifying Russian agents working in Europe to MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service.

Skripal was believed to have received a new identity and home in Britain.