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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Two people taken ill in Salisbury restaurant

UK agencies have accused Russia of being behind poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal earlier this year in Salisbury 

Alleged Russian spies implicated in Skripal poisoning said they had come to see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, above. Reuters
Alleged Russian spies implicated in Skripal poisoning said they had come to see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, above. Reuters

Two people have fallen ill after eating in a restaurant in Salisbury, the English town where former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent Novichok in March, police said.

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

"As a precautionary measure, the restaurant and surrounding roads have been cordoned off while officers attend the scene and establish the circumstances surrounding what led them to become ill."

A witness reported seeing a person in a hazardous material suit in attendance, according to the BBC.

Sam Proudfoot, 16, said: "There's a man in a full white body suit with a mask to his mouth going in and out of the back of the ambulance and the restaurant."

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Read more:

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Skripal suspects: We were just visiting the cathedral

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The sick pair remained in the hospital under observation but a Wiltshire Police statement said they can "now confirm that there is nothing to suggest that Novichok" was involved.

"A cordon will remain in place around Prezzo at this time as part of ongoing routine enquiries. All other areas that were cordoned off will now be reopened," the statement added.

British prosecutors have charged two Russian men in absentia with poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. They have alleged Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were Russian intelligence agents, which they and Moscow have denied.