3 dead from drinking bootleg booze in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian media are reporting that at least three men have died after drinking bootleg alcohol in northern Iran.

The Wednesday report by the semi-official Fars news agency says 14 others have been hospitalized in serious condition.

Reza Shakarami, prosecutor in the city of Karaj, said the poisonings, which happened Tuesday, are under investigation.

Occasionally, Iranian media report on deaths caused by bootleg alcoholic beverages. In 2017, alcohol poisoning killed three and hospitalized 48 in southern Iran.

Since 2014, Iran has opened scores of alcohol rehabilitation centers.

Homemade brews are available cheaply on the black market even though drinking alcohol is illegal in Iran and considered sinful and punishable by flogging and cash fines under Islamic law.

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