Protestant Maze inmates demand non-Catholic area

Two Protestant ''Loyalists'' began a hunger strike at Northern Ireland's Maze prison Tuesday, demanding to live in cellblocks separate from Roman Catholic guerrilla prisoners.

The men object to mixing with prisoners belonging to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and other Irish guerrilla groups trying to drive British troops from the province.

The two, awaiting trial for attempted murder, said in a letter smuggled out of prison that they had the backing of the 400 other ''Loyalist'' prisoners, supporters of British rule in the province. They said two volunteers will join the hunger strike each week until the demands are met.

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