Three British mine sweepers that have been part of a task force helping to clear mines from the Persian Gulf will head home in early March, said Armed Forces Minister Archie Hamilton.

The decision was made because of the Aug. 20 cease-fire that halted fighting in the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, the absence of any recent mining, and achievements of European and U.S. mine sweepers in removing mines from international waters, Hamilton said Tuesday night.A four-ship task force of high-technology British Hunt Class mine-hunters arrived in the gulf in September 1987.