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Drinking illegally home brewed alcoholic beverages has killed five and left more than 114 people hospitalized in the city of Sirjan, in Kerman province.

The condition of three of the hospitalized victims is described as “critical”, local media reported.

“From last Thursday to Monday morning, July 24, nearly 50 people have been hospitalized, three of them in critical condition and thirty more are undergoing dialysis treatment,” Iran Students News Agency, ISNA cited the head of Justice Department in Kerman province, Yadollah Movahhed, as saying.

Referring to the security forces investigation about the case, Movahhed said, “A truck driver bought two 20 litre [roughly 5.3 gallon] containers of bootlegged alcoholic drinks in city of Isfahan and distributed them in Sirjan.”

Movahhed reiterated that the case will be legally tackled as an urgent one.

However, he did not say whether there has been any arrest made related to the case.

Consumption of alcoholic drinks in the Islamic republic of Iran is absolutely forbidden and punishable by eighty strikes of flogging. If the crime repeated twice, the culprit might even face the death penalty.

Although there are no reliable statistics concerning alcohol consumption in Iran, but it is said that drinking bootlegged, contraband and illicit alcoholic beverages in post Islamic revolution Iran has killed thousands and left thousands more blind.

Nevertheless, officials have declared that 420 million litres (roughly 110 million gallons) of alcoholic drinks are annually consumed in Iran.

The money changed hands in Iran’s alcoholic drinks black market has also been estimated to be up to 66 trillion Tomans (roughly $20 billion), while the number of people died of alcohol poisoning from 2010 to 2014 has been declared as 145,93,136,135 and 81 persons, respectively.

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