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British Police: Two People Taken Ill In Salisbury Restaurant


Russian suspects Aleksandr Petrov (right) and Ruslan Boshirov stand at Salisbury train station on March 3.

British police say that two people have fallen ill after eating in a restaurant in Salisbury, the town where former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in March.

"Police were called by the ambulance service to Prezzo, High Street, Salisbury at 6.45 p.m. today following a medical incident involving two people - a man and a woman," Wiltshire Police said in a statement on September 16.

The statement added that the restaurant and surrounding roads had been cordoned off as a precautionary measure, "while officers attend the scene and establish the circumstances surrounding what led them to become ill."

The man and woman were said to be conscious. The local ambulance service said it was called to the scene and sent in ambulances and a hazardous-area-response team.

Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on March 4.

They were both in critical condition and spent several weeks in the hospital but were later released, with British officials saying they are making a good recovery. Their whereabouts are being kept secret.

Sergei Skripal is a former double agent who was convicted of spying and imprisoned in Russia but was released and sent to Britain in a 2010 spy swap.

British officials say the Skripals were poisoned with Novichok, a military-grade chemical weapon that was developed in the Soviet Union, and blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin's government for the attack.

A British citizen, Dawn Sturgess, died in June and her boyfriend, Charlie Rowley, was made ill when they stumbled across remnants of the poison in a town near Salisbury.

Russia denies involvement, and a diplomatic confrontation over the case has led to sanctions and the expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats from two dozen Western countries.

On September 5, British authorities announced that they had charged two Russian men, identified as Aleksandr Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with carrying out the poisoning on March 4.

British authorities said that a European arrest warrant had been issued for the two Russians.

The two men appeared in an interview on Kremlin-funded RT television station on September 13 to proclaim their innocence and said they were merely tourists in the city southwest of London.

James Slack, spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May, derided their claims as "lies and blatant fabrications."

With reporting by Reuters and The Daily Mirror
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