Nine persons belonging to Azam Basti died on Sunday morning after consuming local liquor which turned out to be poisonous, police said.

"Thirteen more have been hospitalized with the condition of seven precarious," a police official said. Two persons who had sold the poisonous liquor to the affected persons were arrested by police.

"They were apparently celebrating the Eid festival and their condition deteriorated early morning. Nine of them, belonging to poor families died while being taken to hospital," the official said.

The official said the arrested persons belong to a gang which was involved in distributing and selling of local liquor in poor neighbourhoods of Azam Basti, Mahmoodabad and Manzoor colony mostly inhabited by Christians and Hindus.

Alcohol consumption is banned in Islamic Pakistan for Muslims but can be obtained at licensed wine shops for non-Muslims in limited quantity.

People belonging to the shanty neighbourhoods generally can't afford the liquor from these wine shops and settle for much cheaper local stuff which has claimed lives in the past as well.

(Agencies)

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