Second IRA prisoner dies in Ulster fast

Francis Hughes, serving a life sentence for killing a British paratrooper, became the second jailed Irish republican guerrilla to fast to death in Northern Ireland, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

"Frank Hughes, a prisoner in Her Majesty's prison at the Maze, died today at 17.43 [12:43 p.m. Eastern daylight time]. He took his own life by refusing food for 59 days and medical attention," the statement said.

On May 5, another Maze prisoner, Bobby Sands, died after a 66-day fast, sparking a wave of rioting across the province by republican, mainly Roman Catholic, youths and guerrillas in which three people were killed.

Both men, convicted members of the Irish Republican Army, were on hunger strikes in a campaign for jailed republicans in Northern Ireland to b e treated as political prisoners.

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