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PARIS (Reuters) - A four-day strike by transporters of hazardous materials in France has hit fuel distribution across the country, with more than 40 petrol stations running dry in the capital region, said oil company Total and oil sector lobby Ufip.

The drivers, affiliated to the CGT trade union, started the strike on May 26 to demand wage increases and other work benefits.

A spokeswoman for Total said 40 of the company's 340 petrol stations in the Paris region, had run out of fuel on Tuesday, adding that work had slowed down at three fuel depots where the striking drivers are carrying out a blockade.

Long queues were reported at several petrol stations as motorists, fearing shortages, lined up to fill their tanks.

A spokeswoman for Ufip said that although the situation was under control for the moment, panic buying by consumers could spark wide-spread shortages.

France Info radio said 257 petrol stations across France, out of about 12,000, were partially out of fuel, while 132 others were completely dry by 0845 GMT on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting

The citizens' meeting