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Belgium strike cuts off Germany, France and Netherlands

A 24-hour strike will halt most trains in Belgium, including international services to Britain, France and Germany. Rail workers are protesting cuts planned by the government of Prime Minister Charles Michel.

The rail strike began at 10 p.m. (2000 UTC) on Thursday, with some disruption earlier, the Belgian rail firm SNCB announced. Eurostar trains from London to Brussels on Friday will instead stop at Lille in northern France, with all Thalys train services connecting Brussels to Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne canceled until late on Friday.

A rail strike last year

had disrupted links

, while another one in 2012

disrupted passenger service

and one in 2010 disrupted international travel.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of protesters had demonstrated in Brussels against Prime Minister Charles Michel's austerity measures.

mkg/jr (AFP, dpa)

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