Homemade alcohol causes 51 deaths in Libya, hundreds fall ill


Fifty one people have died and hundred fallen ill after consuming poisonous homemade alcohol in Libya this weekend. Alcohol is forbidden in the Islamic country.


Emmanuel Dunand

Homemade alcohol has claimed 51 lives in Libya in the last three days.

Libya's health minister said that another 330 people fell ill by consuming alcohol that contained methanol.

The dead are between 19 and 50 years old, with Tunisians and Libyans among the victims, said the Associated Press.

Those who fell ill suffered kidney failure, poisoning and blindness.

Alcohol in Libya is banned but black market liquor and drugs are readily available, said Middle East Online.

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Many people mix alcohol themselves at home.

The Irish Independent said that the trafficking of drugs and alcohol from neighboring countries has increased sharply since the fall of Qaddafi in 2011.

The health ministry says it is investigating the deaths, reported the Associated Press.