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11 die after drinking bootleg alcohol in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia | AFP | Eleven Indonesians died Sunday and several others are critically ill after drinking bootleg liquor, police said, days after the death of 24 others from illicit alcohol.

The latest victims were among 27 people admitted to hospital after sampling homemade alcoholic drinks in Cicalengka district in West Java province, provincial police spokesman Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko told AFP.

“We are investigating the shop that sold the illegal liquor,” he said, adding no one had yet been arrested.

In a separate case over the past week 24 people have died in the capital Jakarta after drinking homemade liquor sold by a herbal drink seller.

The seller, who has been arrested, admitted he had mixed pure alcohol with Coca-Cola and an energy drink, police said.

There have been a series of deaths from bootleg liquor in the Muslim-majority country.

Police said they are chasing other sellers and distributors of homebrew. “We believe there is a big distributor behind this case,” said East Jakarta police chief Tony Surya Putra of the 24 deaths.

Indonesia is home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, but most practise a moderate form of Islam and alcohol is available in big cities.

However, high taxes make alcohol expensive so poorly paid workers turn to potentially dangerous homebrew.

In 2016 36 people died in Central Java after drinking locally-bought homebrew.

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