Six hundred extra British troops were flown into Northern Ireland Wednesday as an emergency security measure to calm angry Protestants and combat a spate of killings by Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrillas.
The Rev. Ian Paisley, a firebrand loyalist, called on Protestants to ''do or die'' to defend Ulster, but Britain warned it would crack down on private Protestant armies the same way it has on the IRA.
Protestants vented their anger Tuesday in an extraordinary attack on Britain's minister for Northern Ireland, James Prior. He was jostled and harassed at the funeral of a Protestant member of Parliament, Robert Bradford, who was murdered by IRA gunmen Saturday.
The attack on Mr. Prior reflected not only a backlash against the assassination of Mr. Bradford but also growing frustration over what Protestants see as the failure of the British government to deal effectively with Irish nationalists.
Official sources said about 11,000 British troops were already helping to maintain order in the province, where conflict between Protestants and the minority Roman Catholics has claimed more than 2,000 lives in the past 12 years. All police leave was canceled to deal with the worst crisis in Northern Ireland since 1974.