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US Apologizes for 'Repugnant' Afghan Photos

In this courtroom sketch, U.S. Army Cpl. Jeremy Morlock of Wasilla, Alaska, center, is shown at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (File Photo)

The U.S. Army is apologizing for "distress" caused by photographs of U.S. soldiers posing with the corpse of an Afghan civilian they are accused of murdering.

The German magazine Der Spiegel on Monday published the photos and identified the U.S. soldiers as Specialist Jeremy Morlock and Private First Class Andrew Holmes. Morlock and Holmes are among five soldiers charged in U.S. military court with killing Afghan civilians.

The U.S. Army released a statement Monday saying the photos are, quote, "repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army."

The photos were among those seized by Army investigators looking into the deaths of three unarmed Afghans in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar last year.

A U.S. military judge had placed the photos under a strict order limiting their release. It is unclear how Der Spiegel obtained them. The German magazine says it published only three of 4,000 photos and videos obtained during a five-month investigation.