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Pakistan Alcohol Deaths: Toxic Homemade Liquor for Christmas Kills 31

Image: Pakistan Alcohol Deaths: Toxic Homemade Liquor for Christmas Kills 31

Pakistani Christians gather as they mourn the death of relatives who were killed by toxic alcohol on Christmas Eve in a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh, some 210 miles south of Islamabad on Dec. 27, 2016. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 01:44 PM

In Pakistan, officials say toxic homemade alcohol is to blame for 31 deaths among people celebrating the Christmas holiday.

Dozens more became ill after consuming the alcohol, most from Pakistan's Christian minority community, police said Tuesday, Reuters reported.

"The maker and supplier of the toxic liquor is also included among the dead," senior police official Bilal Kamyana told Reuters. "The maker prepared liquor at home and sold it in polythene bags for 500 rupees (about $5) each."

Atif Imran Qureshi, a local police officer, said 19 people died Tuesday and 12 the day before, The Associated Press reported. Faisalabad, Pakistan, physician Umair Ahmed added that about a dozen people remain hospitalized.

Alcohol is prohibited in predominantly Muslim Pakistan, but non-Muslims are allowed to buy it from licensed shops. Many poor Christians, though, buy cheap homemade versions if they cannot afford alcohol from the licensed dealer, which sometimes leads to deaths, the AP said.

At least 40 people, mostly Hindus, died after drinking toxic liquor ahead of the festival of Holi in March, Reuters noted.

In Irkutsk, Russia, earlier this month, police and investigators confiscated about 2,000 bottles of Boyaryshnik bath concentrate during an inspection of facilities selling alcohol products.

The roundup came after more than 30 people died in the area in connection with the illegal "surrogate alcohol," Interfax reported. The regional health ministry blamed methyl alcohol or methanol for the poisoning.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a crackdown on the alcohol last week when the death toll topped 60. Putin demanded new regulations putting stricter controls over the production and sale of liquids including perfume, cleaning fluids, medicines, and cosmetics that contain more than 25 percent alcohol.

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In Pakistan, officials say toxic homemade alcohol is to blame for 31 deaths among people celebrating the Christmas holiday.
pakistan, alchol, deaths
281
2016-44-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 01:44 PM
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