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Alexander Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian secret service and a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was seriously ill under armed guard at a London hospital last night.

Mr Litvinenko, 50, who used to work for the Federal Security Bureau (FSB, the former KGB), fell ill after meeting a contact at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly. The woman journalist claimed to have information on the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, the outspoken journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment last month.
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Mr Litvinenko is thought to have been poisoned with thallium, a colourless and odourless liquid that is often used to kill rats. It has been used in previous murder attempts of political opponents.
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Mr Litvinenko defected to Britain six years ago but only became a British citizen last month. He is regarded as a traitor in his native Russia and friends suspect the FSB of trying to murder him.

Sunday Telegraph

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