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QARAZHANBAS -- Hundreds of workers at the Qarazhanbas oil and gas field in western Kazakhstan have joined a strike started by several workers last week, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Natalya Sokolova, a lawyer for independent trade unions in the Mangystau region where the strike is being held, told RFE/RL that the strikers are demanding a pay rise and the lifting of restrictions on the activities of independent trade unions.

Sokolova said the leader of the Qarazhanbasmunai oil and gas corporation and representatives of the regional government and prosecutor's office are currently meeting with the striking workers.

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