5 die after consuming poisonous alcoholBy Basir Ahmad Naadem & Zarghona Salehi Dec 24, 2011 - 16:27
KABUL (PAN): Five people have died and 16 others are in hospital after consuming poisonous alcohol at an engagement ceremony in Kabul, doctors said. But relatives insisted the deaths occurred due to food poisoning.
The overnight incident took place in a house in the Qabil Bai area of the 9th police district in Kabul, witnesses said. About 26 youth were found poisoned in a room and shifted to hospital, a participant of the engagement ceremony said.
Asadullah told Pajhwok Afghan News six of the victims were taken to Pakistan after doctors found in critical condition.
"My younger brother breathed his last at the Torkham border crossing," said Ahmadzai, the elder brother of the fiancé, Mohammad Salim.
Kabul hospitals chief, Dr. Kabir Amiri, confirmed 11 people were brought to the Ibn-i-Sina Hospital. One of them was in a critical condition, he said, adding doctors were investigating whether it was food or toxic alcohol that caused the deaths and sickness.
Ibn-i-Sina Hospital Director Dr. Gula Jan Rahmat confirmed receiving a dozen affected people. He said the victims were aged between 18 and 27 years.
The doctor quoted the affected people as saying they had taken cherry beverage, but later on they realised having consumed a lot of alcohol. He said the sick were discharged after their stomachs were washed.
A community leader from the area, Mohammad Zia, said five of the 30 youth were killed and several others hospitalised after taking liquor.
Kabul police crime branch chief, Brig. Gen. Muhammad Zahir, said initial investigations revealed four people had died and 10 others were transferred to hospital. He said details would be shared with the media after the investigation was completed.
Cleric Sibghatullah said he would not have led the funeral payers if tribal elders had not requested him.
Residents had promised to avoid music programmes and other un-Islamic activities at wedding and engagement parties, but the family broke its promise, he added.