Islamabad : Thirty-four people have now died after drinking toxic home-made liquor on Christmas Eve in central Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday, one of the deadliest cases of mass alcohol poisoning in the country.
The incident happened in a Christian neighbourhood in the town of Toba Tek Singh, 338 kilometres (210 miles) south of Islamabad.
“The death toll has risen to 34 as 10 more people affected by toxic liquor died overnight,” doctor Asif Mehmood Saleemi, the administrator of state-run District Headquarters hospital, told AFP.
Saleemi said 105 people sickened by toxic liquor have so far reported to hospital. Some have been sent to bigger hospitals in the town of Gojra and the city of Faisalabad.
Though legal breweries exist in Pakistan, alcohol sales and consumption are banned for Muslims and tightly regulated for minorities and foreigners.
While wealthy Pakistanis buy foreign alcohol on the black market at heavily inflated prices, the poor often resort to home brews that can contain methanol, commonly used in anti-freeze and fuel.
Eleven Christians died in October after consuming toxic liquor at a party in Punjab province.
In October , 29 drinkers were killed after consuming methanol-tainted liquor over the Eid public holidays.