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Sergeant Nick Bailey confirmed as Wiltshire police officer injured in Sailsbury nerve agent attack on Russian spy

Mirror logo Mirror 08/03/2018 Rachel Bishop

a close up of a person: Credits: FACEBOOK © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: FACEBOOK The police officer injured in the nerve agent attack in Salisbury on former double agent Sergei Skripal has been named as hero 

Police sergeant Nick Bailey, with Wiltshire Police was rushed to hospital in a serious condition after he went to the aid of the Russian ex-spy targeted with a nerve agent.

(Video provided by Wochit News)

Today he was talking in his hospital bed as detectives race to discover who was responsible for the attack which left Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33 seriously ill.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said the use of a chemical weapon on UK soil was a "brazen and reckless act" and the Government stood ready to act as a clearer picture emerged.

The policeman was not in intensive care but was still in a serious condition following the attack, in which a nerve agent, described by Ms Rudd as "very rare", was used in an attempt on the lives Sergei Skripal, 66, and 33-year-old daughter Yulia.

a man posing for the camera: Credits: Reuters © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Reuters Counter-terror police are working to unravel what is now feared to be a sophisticated chemical weapon plot amid heightened tensions between Britain and the Kremlin.

Police have not yet revealed what type of nerve agent was used in the attempted murder or how the pair were poisoned.

Reports have suggested detectives are looking into a number of theories, including whether the Skripals were sprayed with a toxin in an aerosol canister, whether they ate contaminated food or drink or whether Ms Skripal had unwittingly brought the poison with her in a package from Russia.

The police cordon outside Mr Skripal's home was widened on Thursday following a flurry of activity.

Pictured in this file image dated August 9, 2006, is retired colonel Sergei Skripal during a hearing at the Moscow District Court © Getty Pictured in this file image dated August 9, 2006, is retired colonel Sergei Skripal during a hearing at the Moscow District Court A large blue forensic tent was erected on the street as more police and incident support vehicles arrived from South Western Ambulance Service.

Officers extended the cordon to seal off the whole of Christie Miller Road, although residents and their vehicles are allowed to come and go.

(Video provided by France 24)

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Counter-terror police took over the investigation on Tuesday, due to the "unusual circumstances and the specialist expertise" of the officers, although it is not being treated as a terrorist incident.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of counter-terrorism policing, revealed on Wednesday that the incident was being treated as attempted murder and Mr Skripal and his daughter had been "targeted specifically".

a truck on a city street: Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: PA Scotland Yard said scientific tests carried out by Government experts have identified the specific nerve agent, but have not released details of what it was or how it was administered.

Hundreds of detectives, forensic officers and analysts are working on the case, and police are appealing for anyone who was in Salisbury city centre on Sunday to come forward to help with the "missing pieces".

CCTV footage from a camera at Snap Fitness 24/7 gym emerged showing a man and a woman walking in the area moments before the pair were found on Sunday night, after Mr Skripal was seen acting strangely in Zizzi.

An eyewitness said: "He started screaming. He just didn't look right."

It remains unclear who is responsible for the poisoning, but the attack has stoked tensions between Britain and Russia amid suspicions of state responsibility.

Credits: ROWAN GRIFFITHS © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: ROWAN GRIFFITHS Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went on the offensive in the House of Commons about the "disturbing incident", noting that this case had "echoes" of the death of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian dissident who was fatally poisoned in London in 2006.

The Russian embassy said it was "completely untrue" to suggest the country's special services were involved and criticised Mr Johnson for speaking "in such a manner as if the investigation was already over".

The Government called a meeting of its emergency committee Cobra on Wednesday, chaired by Ms Rudd. She has said police must respond to "evidence, not to rumour".

(Video provided by Press Association)

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Mr Skripal was a double agent and was convicted in 2006 of passing state secrets to MI6 before being given refuge in the UK as part of a spy swap.

The former colonel in Russian military intelligence was sentenced to 13 years in prison, and was among four convicts who were given pardons and one of two sent to Britain in 2010 in a deal that was said at the time to be the largest exchange since the Cold War.

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