Death toll from tainted liquor climbs to 31 in Pakistan

MULTAN, Pakistan (AP) — At least 31 people have died from drinking tainted liquor over the Christmas holiday in Pakistan, police and doctors said Tuesday, raising an earlier toll.

Local police officer Atif Imran Qureshi said dozens of people were transported to hospitals in the eastern Punjab province after they consumed contaminated alcohol. A total of 19 people died Tuesday, and 12 the day before, he said.

Umair Ahmed, a physician at Allied hospital in the city of Faisalabad, said a dozen more people were still being treated.

Alcohol is mostly prohibited in Muslim-majority Pakistan, but non-Muslims can purchase it from licensed shops. Most poor Christians buy homemade liquor — which is more affordable but causes deaths almost every year.

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