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UPDATE 1-Long-distance rail traffic in Germany halted due to strike

* Long-distance rail traffic suspended until 0800 GMT

* Regional rail traffic also impacted

* Deutsche Bahn asks union to resume wage talks (Adds details on regional traffic, Deutsche Bahn spokesman)

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Rail workers in Germany staged a four-hour strike over pay on Monday morning, bringing long-distance rail traffic to a standstill and disrupting commuter and freight trains, state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn said.

The company said that regional train traffic, too, was significantly affected across Germany, with only a few commuter trains operating in the cities of Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt.

“Currently long distance traffic is suspended,” Deutsche Bahn said on its website. It also said freight trains faced severe disruptions.

The strike from 0400 GMT to 0800 GMT, comes after wage talks between railway union EVG and Deutsche Bahn broke down on Saturday. A warning from EVG, which represents most railway industry workers and professionals, that strike action is inevitable has raised fears that Christmas travel could be disrupted.

“We are asking the EVG to return to the negotiation table,” a spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said. “We are ready to talk.”

(Reporting by Thomas Seythal and Christoph Steitz; editing by Riham Alkousaa and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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