Amesbury novichok victim Dawn Sturgess, 44, dies

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Russia? Brexit distraction? Twitter erupts amid ‘unknown substance’ case near Salisbury

The head of UK Counter Terrorism policing, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, said Sturgess, a mother of three, died as the result of "an outrageous, reckless and barbaric act".

The woman, 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, died Sunday in a Salisbury hospital in western England, after collapsing just over a week ago on June 30.

A 45-year-old man, Charlie Rowley, who also fell ill remains in a critical condition.

Basu said Rowley was still critically ill in hospital and that Sturgess' family had asked for privacy.

Tests have revealed that the Amesbury couple were exposed to the nerve agent after touching a contaminated item with their hands.

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The woman who was exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in Wiltshire in southern England has died in hospital, British police say.

"This bad 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", Neil Basu, the head of United Kingdom counterterrorism policing, said in a statement.

They were believed to have become exposed to Novichok by handling a container, and a link to the Salisbury attack in March is a main line of investigation.

Britain has openly accused Russian Federation of being responsible for poisoning the Skripals with Novichok, a family of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970 and 1980s. Britain blames Russian Federation for the attack, however, Russian Federation has denied the allegation.

Prime Minister Theresa said she was "appalled and shocked by the death", and announced that incident is now being investigated as a murder.

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The Skripal case, which Metropolitan Police detectives are investigating as attempted murder, sparked a diplomatic crisis between Russian Federation and the West, including the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats from both sides.

Skripal and his daughter were both released from the hospital this spring. "However, it is important that the investigation is led by the evidence available and the facts alone", the Met said.

She said: "The staff here at Salisbury District Hospital worked tirelessly to save Dawn".

A spokesman said the investigators are "not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skirpals were exposed to".

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.

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Police are still trying to piece together how Ms Sturgess and Mr Rowley came into contact with Novichok.

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