WARSAW - Poland has banned the sale of strong drink from the Czech Republic after 19 deaths attributed to the consumption of bootleg spirits containing poisonous methanol in the neighboring country, health authorities said on Sunday.

"The Chief Health Inspectorate has issued a one-month ban on the sale in Poland of all alcoholic beverages from the Czech Republic with the exception of wine and beer," PAP news agency reported a Health Ministry statement as saying.

It did not say whether any Poles had been directly affected by the tainted drinks. The Czech Republic on Friday banned indefinitely the sale of liquor with more than 20 percent alcohol.

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