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U.S. Troops to Leave Grenada by September

February 07, 1985|United Press International

WASHINGTON — All foreign troops, including about 250 members of the U.S. military, stationed on Grenada since the 1983 U.S. invasion, will withdraw in September, the Reagan Administration announced today.

The withdrawal of the 250 U.S. troops and more than 400 troops from other Caribbean nations will begin in April "and be phased over a period of 5 1/2 months," the State Department said.

The United States, leading a force that included neighboring Caribbean countries, invaded Grenada Oct. 25, 1983, following the ouster and murder of leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop by more radical Marxist forces.

President Reagan called the invasion a "rescue mission" to evacuate a group of American medical students from the American-owned St. George's University. Forces from Jamaica, Dominica, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Vincent and Barbados joined in the invasion.

Most of the troops withdrew by Dec. 15, 1983, leaving 250 U.S. military personnel plus a 450-member Caribbean Peace Force manned by neighboring islands.

Grenada Requested Troops

The State Department said the Grenadian government requested the troop presence "to maintain order until the Grenadian police force could be reconstituted and trained."

The department noted that Prime Minister Herbert Blaize, elected by a landslide last Dec. 3, had reconfirmed his government's wish that the Caribbean and U.S. forces remain "until the Grenadian police force was completely trained."

"The Grenadian police force will attain full strength by mid-April, and all its contingents will have completed training by Sept. 30," the department said.

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