Officials said 143 U.S. soldiers left Haiti for home Wednesday as part of a phased American withdrawal from the island nation.
Less than 2,000 U.S. troops remain in Haiti, part of a 5,800-member U.N. peacekeeping force that is to be out by Feb. 29. The U.S. troops that left Wednesday are members of the 3rd Special Forces Group from Fort Bragg, N.C.
A U.S.-led force arrived in Haiti in September 1994, and dismantled its military government, which had ousted President Jean-Paul Aristide in a coup three years earlier. As many as 4,000 civilians were killed during military rule.
Aristide returned from exile on Oct. 15, 1994. On March 31, the U.S.-led force handed over peacekeeping duty to the U.N. mission.