(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –At least 42 people have died after drinking contaminated bootleg alcohol in Iran, a government spokesman said.
Health ministry spokesman Iraj Harirchi said 16 people had gone blind and 170 had undergone dialysis after trying the tainted drink.
In the past three weeks, at least 460 people across five provinces have been hospitalised, with the youngest victim a 19-year-old woman.
Alcohol is illegal in Iran but bootleg booze is widespread.
However, ethanol is sometimes reportedly replaced with toxic methanol in the contaminated drink.
Police in the southern city of Bandar Abbas last week arrested a couple for allegedly producing home-made alcohol.