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Moonshine kills 17 in Kenya

July 27, 2010 at 10:23 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 27 (UPI) -- Kenya's Alcoholic Beverages Association Tuesday called for government action to halt the trade in homemade liquor following the death of 17 people.

The 17 consumed an illegal drink in Nairobi's Kibera slum last weekend and died of methanol poisoning, the Kenya Broadcasting Corp. reported.

"Unsuspecting Kenyans continue to suffer at the hand of unscrupulous business people who sell unhygienic products," said Vice Chairman Ken Kariuki of the beverage association.

It is estimated that production and consumption of illicit brews in Kenya amount to 60 percent of the total alcoholic beverages market.

Police have arrested more than 10 people in connection with the deaths in Nairobi.

Authorities said in addition to the 17 deaths, scores of others have been blinded by drinking the illicit liquor.

Dr. Adung'o Ikol of Kenyatta National Hospital told Nairobi's Daily Nation that methanol poisoning leads to blindness and eventually to death.

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