UK authorities seeking clues in new Novichok poisoning case

UK authorities seeking clues in new Novichok poisoning case
A British police officer guards a cordon outside the Queen Elizabeth Gardens park in Salisbury, England, Wednesday, July 4, 2018. British counterterrorism police are investigating Wednesday after two people were left in critical condition, exposed to an unknown substance. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — British officials are seeking clues in the rush to understand how two Britons were exposed to the military-grade nerve agent Novichok.

The country’s chief counterterrorism police officer says specialists have determined that the couple in their 40s were poisoned by the same lethal toxin — developed by the Soviet Union — that almost killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in March.

It is not clear if the new victims were intentionally targeted.

The man and woman are critically ill in England’s Salisbury District Hospital, where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were previously treated.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is chairing a meeting of the British government’s COBRA emergency committee on Thursday morning.