12 die in Iran from homemade alcohol


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 in the Islamic Republic said.

Alcohol is banned in the Islamic Republic, which has enforced Islamic sharia law since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

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

"Out of 92 who were poisoned from drinking homemade alcohol and hospitalised, 12 people died," said Farshid Abedi, head of Hormuzgan medical school, according to Hambastegi newspaper. He added that the dead were aged between 29 and 42.

Hormuzgan province is in south Iran. Abedi did not identify the religion of the victims.

Other newspapers carried similar reports.

The first patient came to hospital on Tuesday, Mr Abedi said, adding that four had been blinded and 69 people aged between 29 and 45 were in a criticial state, with nine in a coma.

At least some of the victims had been at a wedding party.