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Four soldiers from a Stryker brigade out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state have been sent to prison in connection with the 2010 killings of three unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province’s Maiwand district, which is just northwest of Panjwai. They were accused of forming a “kill team” that murdered Afghan civilians for sport — slaughtering victims with grenades and powerful machine guns during patrols, then dropping weapons near their bodies to make them appear to have been combatants.

And in January, before the Koran burning incident, a video that purportedly showed U.S. Marines urinated on corpses of men they had killed sparked widespread outrage.

Mr. Obama has apologized for the Koran burnings and said they were a mistake.

Heidi Vogt reported from Kabul, Afghanistan. Associated Press writers Sebastian Abbot and Rahim Faiez contributed to this report from Kabul, and AP photographer Allauddin Khan contributed from Balandi.