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Some 80 people have died in Uganda after drinking illegal home-made banana gin laced with methanol, a health official says.

Patrick Tusiime said so many people had died because relatives did not want to admit that people had been drinking the gin, known as waragi.

The deaths have occurred over the past three weeks in the south-western Kabale district, he told Reuters news agency.

He said the authorities were conducting house-to-house searches for the gin.

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The BBC’s Joshua Mmali in the capital, Kampala, says waragi is drunk across Uganda, often by those who cannot afford industrialised alcohol.

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