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FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Testifying under immunity, three U.S. Army commanders admitted Friday that soldiers were told to cover up an incident in which two Iraqi civilians were forced off a bridge into the Tigris River, where family members say one of them drowned. The commanders, however, said they don't believe anyone died, despite what the family and prosecutors say.
The testimony came in a hearing at Colorado's Fort Carson to determine whether three soldiers will be court-martialed.
Capt. Matthew Cunningham said soldiers under his command admitted they forced the Iraqis to jump into the river. He said the soldiers told him they just wanted the Iraqis to get "wet" and "miserable."
Cunningham said it was a bad decision but that soldiers needed to have ways to make their presence felt.
Cunningham also testified that he and other commanders told the soldiers to clam up because they feared higher-ups in the chain of command would use the incident against them.
"We were not covering up anything that injured anybody," he said.