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LAHORE, Nov 24: Three people died while five others fainted shortly after consuming a cough syrup in Shahdara Town area on Saturday.

The police claimed that all those who died or hospitalised were drug addicts and had been taking the cough syrup as sedative.

Shahdara Town Police Muharrar Tahir said eight people of three localities -- Gujar Mohalla, Pisni Piir, and Ilam Din Park -- consumed syrup and fell unconscious. Some of them were found fainted in streets and others in local parks.

Of them, he said, three youngsters identified as Shahbaz, Sikandar and Ramzan died on the spot while Shahzad, Javed, Yusuf, Aslam and Sajjad were immediately shifted to Mayo Hospital. Two were said to be critical.

Quoting initial investigations, Mr Tahir said, the police recovered empty and half-filled bottles of a company. All the recovered bottles were sent for laboratory analysis. The bodies were shifted for autopsy.