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British Hospital Says Ex-Spy's Daughter 'Improving Rapidly' From Poison Attack

A entrance sign stands outside Salisbury Memorial Hospital where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were taken after being found critically ill March 4, 2018, in Salisbury, England.

A hospital in Britain says the daughter of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal is "improving rapidly" after a nerve agent attack earlier this month and is no longer in critical condition.

"She has responded well to treatment but continues to receive expert clinical care 24 hours a day," said Salisbury District hospital Medical Director Hospital Christine Blanshard.

Yulia Skripal and her father fell ill after being poisoned with a nerve toxin in the British town of Salisbury. Russia has been blamed for the attack and more than 20 countries, including the U.S., ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats in response.

Sergei Skripal remains in critical condition, according to Dr. Blanshard.

Russia denies it was responsible for the nerve agent attack and has alleged it was carried out by British intelligence services to discredit Russia. Britain dismisses that allegation.

British police gave an update on the investigation Wednesday, saying that after forensic examinations, detectives believe the Skripals first made contact with the toxin at the front door of their home. They cautioned that those living in the neighborhood will see continued searches taking place but that the risk to the public remains low.

Police officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018.
Police officers stand guard outside the home of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, Britain, March 8, 2018.

So far, police say they have looked through 5,000 hours of security camera footage, examined more than 1,350 other exhibits and interviewed hundreds of witnesses.

In a phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the "very strong response" by the United States, which ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats after Moscow was blamed for the attack.

The White House said "both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil."

VOA's White House correspondent Steve Herman and national security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

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