87 Dead, 1,014 suffer poisoning in Libya from adulterated alcohol

Tripoli, Mar 16 (EFE).- At least 87 people have died and 1,014 are suffering the effects of being poisoned last week in Libya from drinking adulterated alcohol, the nation's health minister said.

Two of the people hospitalized are in a state of clinical death and another 14 are in critical condition in an intensive care unit, the minister said.

Among those affected are Tunisians, Algerians, Moroccans, Somalis, Sudanese and Egyptians, and 12 women including four Libyans and eight foreigners, the nation's top health official, Yusef al Wafi, said.

Cases of poisoning began to surface more than a week ago, and five days later the authorities announced the arrest of several people suspected of making the adulterated alcohol.

The sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in Libya in obedience to the precepts of the Islamic religion, but it is nevertheless distilled clandestinely.