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Malaysia airport declared  ‘safe of any toxin’

26 February 2017, 5:16:55

International Desk:The airport terminal where the half-brother of North Korea's leader was killed with a nerve agent has been announced free of any ‘dangerous material’ by Malaysian police.

Security teams in protective suits had earlier swept the area.

Malaysia's health minister said that a post mortem advised the toxin used to kill Kim Jong-nam caused ‘very serious paralysis’.

Tests show Kim was killed with the highly toxic nerve agent VX.

An Indonesian woman was arrested for the murder has said she was given 400 Malaysian ringgit ($90; £72) to carry out a prank.

Siti Aisyah, 25, told Indonesian embassy officials that she was given the cash to smear Kim Jong-nam's face with ‘baby oil’ as part of a reality show joke.

VX is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations. A drop on the skin can kill in minutes.

Kim died two weeks ago after two women accosted him briefly in a check-in hall at Kuala Lumpur International Airport's low-cost carrier terminal, known as KLIA2.

Health minister S Subramaniam said the discovery that the VX toxin was used confirmed the hospital's autopsy result, which suggested that a ‘chemical agent caused very serious paralysis’, leading to death ‘in a very short period of time’.

The airport has been swept for toxic chemicals by various specialised police teams, forensic experts, the fire department's hazardous materials unit, and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.

‘As a result of this screening process done we confirm: number one, there is no hazardous material found in KLIA2. Number two, KLIA2 is free from any form of contamination of hazardous material. And thirdly, is KLIA2 is declared a safe zone,’ said Abdul Samah Mat, the police official heading the investigation.

There is widespread suspicion that North Korea was behind the attack, which it strongly denies.

A Vietnamese woman and a North Korean man have also been arrested in connection with the killing.

The Vietnamese foreign ministry confirmed that the Vietnamese national being held was Doan Thi Huong, born in 1988, saying she had told officials she thought she was taking part in a television prank.

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