updated 6/30/2007 4:56:26 AM ET 2007-06-30T08:56:26

Two U.S. soldiers have been charged with the premeditated murder of three Iraqis, the U.S. military announced Saturday.

The charges stem from three separate incidents between April and June in the vicinity of Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. An investigation was launched after fellow soldiers reported the alleged crimes to military authorities, it said.

The soldiers are assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501 Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley, from Chandler, N.C., is charged with three counts each of premeditated murder, obstructing justice and “wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of deceased Iraqis,” the statement said. He was placed in military confinement in Kuwait on Thursday, it said.

The other soldier, Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, from Laredo, Texas, faces one count each of premeditated murder and placing a weapon with the remains of a dead Iraqi, the military said.

Sandoval was taken into custody last Tuesday while at home in Texas, it said. He was transferred to military confinement in Kuwait three days later.

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