The U.S. Army has begun the court martial process in light of a report that soldiers in Afghanistan murdered civilians and mutilated their corpses.

In a statement, the Army said it has already begun an investigation after the story appeared in Rolling Stone and was picked up by blogs and websites all over the world. The article included graphic photos of the soldiers with the civilians and the mutilated corpses.

The article was made available online Monday and is set to hit the shelves in print Friday.

"The photos published by Rolling Stone are disturbing and in striking contrast to the standards and values of the United States Army," the statement said. "Like those published by Der Spiegel, the Army apologizes for the distress these latest photos cause. Accountability remains the Army's paramount concern in these alleged crimes. Accordingly, we are in the midst of courts-martial, and we continue to investigate leads."

The Rolling Stone article is the latest of a number of reports from the magazine on military misconduct in the Middle East. Last June the article published a story reporting disparaging comments made by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The article eventually resulted in McChrystal's resignation from his post.