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US Military Acquits Soldier of Killing Iraqi Civilian

A U.S. military court has acquitted an Army sergeant of involuntary manslaughter in the alleged drowning of an Iraqi civilian last January in Samarra, but convicted the 14-year veteran of assault.

The jury in the court martial of Sergeant First Class Tracy Perkins in Fort Hood, Texas found him guilty late Friday of the lesser charge in connection with what prosecutors say was the drowning of 19-year-old Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun. Sergeant Perkins faces a maximum of 11-and-a-half years in prison.

Mr. Hassoun's cousin, Marwan Fadel Hassoun, had testified that U.S. soldiers forced him and his cousin to jump into the Tigris River, then laughed as Zaidoun Hassoun drowned. The two men had been detained for violating a curfew.

Defense attorney's argued that no body was ever found, and defense witnesses testified they saw two men climb out of the river.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.