Armed group caught in Haiti returned to US

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The U.S. State Department says seven men arrested in Haiti with weaponry have been returned to the United States before a scheduled court hearing on the Caribbean nation.

The department says in an emailed statement that the return was coordinated with Haitian authorities, but a spokesman for Haiti's prime minister said Thursday that Jean-Henry Ceant was not aware of the men's departure and demanded an immediate explanation from the justice minister.

Five U.S. citizens were among eight men arrested on Sunday while carrying automatic weapons and other arms and driving in cars without license plates. Authorities said they told police they were on a "mission" but refused to say anything else.

Prosecutors had said the men would appear in court on Wednesday. Instead they were taken to the airport.