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Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, died on Sunday from contact with the same military-grade toxin that almost killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in an attack that Britain blamed on Moscow.

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "I know this news will affect more people than just those who knew Dawn - it will affect our communities right across the county".

LONDON - Russia has committed an attack that resulted in the death of a Briton, defence minister Gavin Williamson said on Monday, linking Russia to the incident after a 44 year-old woman who was poisoned by nerve agent Novichok died.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the March attack on the Skripals had been ordered by the Russian government, a charge denied by representatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the Skripal case and suggested the British security services carried out the attack to stoke anti-Moscow hysteria.

Basu said the two "must have got a high dose" and police were seeking a "container" they are believed to have handled. The British government identified substance to which y were exposed as belonging to Russian-made chemical weapons family known as Novichok, and directly accused Moscow of attack.

Detectives working to establish how Ms Sturgess and partner Charlie Rowley came into contact with the deadly nerve agent have now launched a murder enquiry.

Her boyfriend Charlie Rowley, 45, was also exposed to the nerve agent around the same time and place - and he remains in critical condition and in a coma at the Salisbury hospital.

Whilst 21 other people have come forward with health concerns, they have been screened and "all been given the all-clear", he said.

Police believe the pair was exposed to the nerve agent after "handling a contaminated container".

He said no one else in the Amesbury and Salisbury region where the couple lived in southwestern England has shown any sign of Novichok poisoning.

Paramedics went to the bus stop following reports that a man was unwell but police later said the drama was not related to the novichok inquiry. "Dawn leaves behind her family, including three children, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this extremely hard time". She became ill alongside a man named locally as Charlie Rowley, 45.

The police officer added: "The investigation must be led by the evidence available and the facts alone".

Sturgess died at Salisbury District Hospital, the same facility that nursed the critically ill Skripals.

Last week, the Chief Medical Officer for England said that the risk to the wider public remains low but that people in the local area should not pick up any odd items such as needles, syringes or unusual containers, given the source of the contamination has not yet been found.

Detectives are working to identify the source of the contamination, police said, but a source has not yet been established. She said: "The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn". Following the poisonings of the Skripals, the US, United Kingdom and European allies expelled dozens of Russian diplomats.


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