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Four Dead From Drinking Bootleg Booze In Iran

Iranian police prepare to destroy confiscated bottles of alcohol in Tehran.

Four people, including a woman, have died after drinking bootleg alcohol in the Iranian city of Karaj, west of the capital, a judiciary official has said.

Nearly 40 people have been hospitalized, Karaj prosecutor Reza Shahkarami was quoted as saying on September 13 by the semiofficial ISNA news agency.

He said the poisonings, which happened on September 11, were under investigation.

"Twelve people had been transferred to hospital. Within hours, the number of those hospitalized increased to 39," Shahkarami said.

Since the 1979 revolution, alcohol has been banned in Iran and punishable by floggings and cash fines.

Yet, many Iranians drink foreign and homemade alcoholic beverages that are available on the black market.

In recent years, several cases of fatal alcohol poisoning have been reported.

Since 2014, Iran has opened treatment centers for alcoholics.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda, ISNA, and Fars