Family forgives son's al-Qaida linked killers

Nouakchott, Mauritania - The family of an American man who was slain by extremists linked to al-Qaida while doing humanitarian work in Mauritania said Monday it has forgiven his killers.

Chris Leggett, 39, was shot dead in the Mauritanian capital on June 23, not far from the school he helped run which taught computer skills to local prisoners.

An Arab TV station aired a statement issued by a North African al-Qaida group spokesman who said the group killed Leggett because he was allegedly trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Leggett's family in the U.S. released a statement to reporters in Mauritania on Monday saying in French: "In the spirit of love, we forgive those that took the life of our remarkable son ... and we simply ask that the law is applied to those that killed him."

Leggett is to be buried Tuesday in Cleveland, Tennessee.

The Cleveland Daily Banner reports that he had spent seven years in Mauritania and that he is survived by a wife and four children.