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IRA hunger strike suffers double blow

Another inmate joined the IRA hunger strike, but the grim protest appeared to be weakening with the decision of one faction to reduce its role and the announcement that a fifth striker had broken his fast.

The addition of a new sixth hunger striker came after the outlawed Irish National Liberation Army said it was scaling down its involvement because at the current rate all of its jailed members would be dead in six months. The move came hours after the mother of IRA hunger striker Laurence McKeown authorized medical treatment for him, making him the fifth inmate to come off the fast since it began March 1. Ten others have died in the protest.

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