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On the issue of security, the FOB was divided into three distinct zones, with secure walls and entry controls for the Marines, Afghan police and Afghan army.

The three slain Marines were doing police training and working out in the gym in the police sector. That explains how Mr. Khudairaham — and his AK-47 — gained access.

Concerning the assailant’s age, Col. Gibson said the defendant lacked birth records. He was examined twice by Afghan doctors, who determined his age at between 17 and 18. On June 30, an Afghan judge ruled he would be tried as a juvenile.

Of family contact, Col. Gibson asserted, “Since the time of the incident, regular contact with the affected families has been maintained in order to keep them informed of related investigative and legal developments.”

Col. Gibson said casualty officers, Marine lawyers and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have all spoken with the families over the past 23 months.