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Britain To Probe Whether Russia Murdered Litvinenko

Britain has announced it will hold a public inquiry into the death of former KGB spy Aleksandr Litvinenko.

The decision means investigators can look into whether the Russian state played a role in the death of Litvinenko.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced the inquiry on July 22.

The decision comes at a time of rising tensions between Britain and Russia.

Litvinenko -- speaking on his deathbed after he was poisoned in London in 2006 -- accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder.

Last year, the British government rejected a request for an inquiry into Litvinenko's death.

Litvinenko died a few weeks after drinking tea poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope in a plush London hotel.

The Kremlin has always denied any involvement in Litvinenko's death.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP