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In Video: How a nerve agent affects the body

The UK says Novichok was used to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.

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A police tent in Salisbury at the spot where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A police tent in Salisbury at the spot where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A police tent in Salisbury at the spot where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found critically ill (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Novichok was developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s as a new kind of chemical weapon that would be harder to detect, more potent than existing nerve agents and exempt from the Chemical Weapons Treaty.

Theresa May said its use in the Wiltshire city amounted to “an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.

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