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Second Kazakh Hunger Striker Hospitalized

ZHANAOZEN, Kazakhstan -- Another of the six women on hunger strike over a lack of state housing in a western Kazakh town has been hospitalized, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Gulaiym Topaeva was taken to the hospital early today with heart problems. Serik Kazhikanov, a relative, told RFE/RL that Topaeva is in a cardiology center in Zhanaozen.

On January 24, hunger striker Tamara Erghazieva was taken to the hospital after feeling unwell.

Another hunger striker, Damesh Sargulova, told RFE/RL that the four remaining protesting women are continuing their hunger strike, which is taking place in Topaeva's apartment.

The women are demanding that people who have been waiting a long time for state housing be given places to live and that at least one member of their families should be offered employment at a local branch of the KazMunaiGaz energy company.

The strikers told RFE/RL that no government official has met with them since they stopped eating nearly a week ago.

Read in Kazakh here