Attack On Ex-Russian Spy Takes A Weird Turn As 21 People Fall Ill

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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British police revealed Thursday that a total of 21 people have received medical treatment after falling ill in the wake of an attack on a former Russian spy.

Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police Kier Pritchard said that multiple people were exposed to the nerve agent that left Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in critical condition, Sky News reported. Sgt. Nick Bailey has reportedly been hospitalized but is making progress.

Skripal, a 66-year-old former colonel who previously served as a Russian military intelligence official, and his 33-year-old daughter were found collapsed on a bench in Salisbury, England, Sunday. Authorities believe they were intentionally targeted in an attack involving a rare nerve agent.

When the pair were discovered, Yulia was apparently convulsing and vomiting, and she had reportedly lost control of certain bodily functions.

Sources close to the investigation argue that the chemical agent used is likely something other than Sarin or VX, the BBC reported. Researchers reportedly suspect the substance came from a state laboratory.

Observers have been quick to point fingers at the Kremlin, but British authorities have yet to track the origination of the assault. The recent attack is noticeably reminiscent of the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian defector who was poisoned with polonium in London, yet the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

A Russian news reader, however, made a particular point of stressing that traitors die young, arguing, “The profession of a traitor is one of the most dangerous in the world.”

“If action needs to be taken, then the government will do that,” Prime Minister Theresa May told ITV News. “We will do what is appropriate, we will do what is right, if it is proved to be the case that this is state-sponsored.”

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