British woman dies after exposure to nerve agent in Amesbury, U.K.

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A woman who was poisoned by a military-grade nerve agent in southwest England died Sunday, eight days after police think she touched a contaminated item that has not been found.

It is thought that Ms Sturgess, 44, and her partner, Charlie Rowley, 45, came into contact accidentally with an item contaminated by novichok that was used to try to kill Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, four months ago.

The poisoning in March of the Skripals with Novichok was the first known offensive use of such a chemical weapon on European soil since World War Two.

In a statement, Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of United Kingdom counter-terrorism policing, said: "This is shocking and tragic news".

Britain's home secretary is visiting Amesbury and Salisbury in southwestern England to reassure residents that the risk to the public remains very low despite the recent poisoning of two people exposed to a deadly nerve agent.

"We are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to", police said.

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.

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United Kingdom and other Western officials have blamed Russian Federation for carrying out the attack on the Skripals - a charge that Moscow has denied.

"I am appalled and shocked by the death of Dawn Sturgess, and my thoughts and condolences go to her family and loved ones", May wrote on Twitter.

But, they say, "it is important that the investigation is led by the evidence available and the facts alone". "The government is committed to providing full support to the local community as it deals with this tragedy".

Counterterrorism police are also studying roughly 1300 hours of closed circuit television footage in hopes of finding clues about the couple's activities in the hours before they became violently ill.

A police officer sought medical advice Saturday in connection with the ongoing investigation of the nerve agent exposure, but was given the "all clear," according to Wiltshire Police. The man remains in critical condition in hospital.

Skripal and his daughter were both released from the hospital this spring. A number of Western countries expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the poisonings.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, almost died of exposure to Novichok left on the front doorstep of Sergei's home in March.

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