Pakistan

Toxic liquor kills 26 in Toba Tek Singh

TOBA TEK SINGH: The death toll of the people who consumed toxic liquor in Toba Tek Singh on Christmas Eve reached to 26 as two more victims died in the central Punjab city, police officials said. Around 40 people affected and scores of them said to be in a critical condition, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident happened at a Christian colony in Toba Tek Singh town of Punjab, over 200 miles in south of capital city of Islamabad.

Scores of persons said to be in a precarious condition.

“Residents in Mubarakabad Basti brewed liquor on Christmas Eve and consumed it. The liquor, which turned out to be toxic, killed 26 people and seriously affected 50 others,” a local police official Muhammad Nadeem earlier told a foreign news agency.

He said most of the deaths had occurred by late Monday. “Those killed by toxic liquor included 19 Christians and two Muslims,” Nadeem added.

Though legal breweries exist in Pakistan, alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited for Muslims and tightly regulated for minorities and foreigners.

While wealthy Pakistanis buy bootlegged foreign alcohol at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home-brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.

Earlier in October, 11 Christians died after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab province.

In October 2014 at least 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid public holidays.

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