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Homemade Liquor Kills 12 Iranians, Sickens Dozens

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Twelve people in southern Iran have died after drinking homemade liquor and dozens more have been blinded or are in a serious condition, health workers were quoted as saying.

Iranian law, drafted after the 1979 Islamic revolution to comply with Shari'a law, generally forbids the use of alcohol.

The tiny minority of Iran's Christians, who mainly live in northern Iran, are permitted to make alcohol for personal consumption.

Farshid Abedi, the head of Hormuzgan medical school, which is in southern Iran, was quoted by "Hambastegi" newspaper as saying that "out of 92 who were poisoned from drinking homemade alcohol and hospitalized, 12 people died."

Abedi did not identify the religion of the victims.

Other newspapers carried similar reports.

The first patient came to hospital on November 25, Abedi said, adding that four had been blinded and 69 people aged between 29 and 45 were in a critical state, with nine in comas.

At least some of the victims had been at a wedding party.
RFE/RL Iran Report

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