The United States has issued a rare public apology for the “repugnant” actions of a so-called American “Kill Team” whose members posed for trophy photographs with Afghan civilians they had allegedly killed, The Telegraph informs. Officials launched a damage limitation exercise after an investigation by the German magazine Der Spiegel uncovered 4000 photographs which appeared to document abuses carried out by US troops in Afghanistan. The magazine said it had published three graphic photographs over the weekend to document a war which had “lost sight of its original objectives.” One picture shows a US soldier casually smoking a cigarette while posing with a partially naked corpse. In a second, another member of the same unit grins as he holds up the dead man’s head like a trophy. The third shows two blood-soaked bodies bound to a small pillar.