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Indonesia Alcohol Deaths Exceed 100 as Police Vow Crackdown

Deaths from drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in Indonesia have surpassed 100 this month, police said Wednesday as they vowed a "scorched earth" crackdown on the makers and distributors of black-market liquor. Deputy National Police Chief Muhammad Syafruddin said deaths have been concentrated in populous West Java and Jakarta, the capital, but there were also cases in South Kalimantan and other regions that brought fatalities to more than 100. Indonesian TV has broadcast images of distraught relatives in several cities and lines of gurneys bearing dead bodies in hospital hallways as the death toll relentlessly climbed since late last week. There were 31 deaths in Jakarta and satellite cities at the beginning of the month followed by a dramatic surge in deaths in West Java and hospitalizations of dozens of people suffering nausea, blurry vision and loss of consciousness. "This is a crazy phenomenon," said Syafruddin, standing in front of seven...

 

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