No guarantees on nerve agent culprits or finding more Novichok: UK police

FILE PHOTO: Forensic investigators, wearing protective suits, emerge from the rear of John Baker House, after it was confirmed that two people had been poisoned with the nerve-agent Novichok, in Amesbury, Britain, July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

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LONDON (Reuters) - Those behind nerve agent poisonings in England have not been identified and police cannot guarantee there are no more traces of Novichok still in England, Britain's top counter-terrorism policeman said on Wednesday.

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury in March, and two Britons fell ill this month after exposure to the same nerve agent. One those, Dawn Sturgess, has died, while the other is critical but conscious.

"I would love to be able to stand here and say how we have identified and caught those responsible and how we are absolutely certain there are no traces of nerve agent left anywhere in the county," Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a statement.

"The brutal reality, however, is that I cannot offer you any such assurances or guarantees at this time."

He added that it may never be possible to definitively establish a link between the death of Sturgess and the poisoning of the Skripals.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden)

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