Despite the UK’s promise to gather all of the facts before making an accusation in the poisoning attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, officials from the British Army and Royal Air Force have been summoned to the north Dorset town of Gillingham as part of the investigation into the nerve attack, according to the Mirror.
While it’s not exactly clear what the military is doing in the sleepy coastal town, the media are speculating that the town is in lockdown due to some kind of connection with the attack. But exactly what that connection is, is unclear.
One thing is for sure: the Army have warned residents not to leave their homes.
— James Somper (@jsoomper) March 14, 2018
But whatever the situation may be, it clearly requires a lot of firepower: The Mirror reports that two huge military vehicles have been seen thundering into the small town early Tuesday. A cordon has also been established to keep people away as a recovery vehicle towed away a car that may have belonged to one of the Skripals.
Residents told the Mirror that the car had been parked in the road for the last two days and they are worried they could have been exposed to health risks.
Rumors suggested the car may have belonged to Yulia Skripal. She and her father were poisoned on March 4 in an attack that also left 18 bystanders and one police officer in critical condition. Another car was also seized at a village in Wiltshire, a town about 8 miles west of Gillingham.
Dorset police papered the town with noticed warning drivers to move their vehicles away from the Hyde Road area of town.
When approached for a statement, a Met Police spokesperson caustically declared: “There are a number of scenes in place, linked to the investigation into two people being taken ill in Salisbury on Sunday, 4 March. Enquiries are ongoing, and we won’t be providing a running commentary on the investigation.”
Police have also been photographed in protective suits.
Tensions between the UK and Russia have escalated since Russia refused to respond to the UK’s request and warned it not to threaten “a nuclear power.”
Kremlin spokesman Maria Zakharova warned “no one can go to a parliament of their country and say: I give Russia 24 hours.”
In an apparent direct attack on foreign secretary Boris Johnson she said people with “absolutely nothing to do with foreign policy, who built their career on populism” should “not try to scare us.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reportedly sent an official request to access the compound that the UK police have recovered so Moscow can test it. But the UK has so far been uncooperative.
British Army and Royal Air Force officials are reportedly on the scene in the town, along with cops and paramedics. According to the Daily Star, Met Police officials are understood to be in charge of the investigation currently unfolding in Gillingham.