Pak­istan frees kid­napped Amer­i­can and her fam­ily

Sunshine Coast Daily - - WORLD NEWS - – INM

PAK­ISTANI forces have res­cued an Amer­i­can woman and her fam­ily who had been held by a Pak­istan-based mil­i­tant group for five years.

The re­lease of Cait­lan Cole­man, her hus­band and three chil­dren re­port­edly took place af­ter US of­fi­cials pro­vided new in­tel­li­gence on the fam­ily’s lo­ca­tion to Pak­istan’s gov­ern­ment.

Ms Cole­man, 32, was seven months preg­nant when she and her Cana­dian hus­band, Josh Boyle, 34, were ab­ducted in Afghanistan in 2012 and held by the Haqqani net­work – a group with ties to the Tal­iban.

A video broad­cast re­cently showed the cou­ple with three smil­ing chil­dren.

The Toronto Star re­ported that in a phone call to his par­ents af­ter his re­lease, Mr Boyle said the fam­ily had been in the boot of the kid­nap­pers’ car when Pak­istani forces res­cued them.

He said there had been a shootout and the last words he heard from the kid­nap­pers were “kill the hostages”.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said the res­cue was “a pos­i­tive mo­ment” for US-Pak­istan re­la­tions.

“The Pak­istani gov­ern­ment’s co-op­er­a­tion is a sign that it is hon­our­ing Amer­ica’s wishes for it to do more to pro­vide se­cu­rity in the re­gion,” he said.

As­so­ci­ated Press said US in­tel­li­gence told Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day the hostages had been moved into north­west­ern Pak­istan. It did not say when they were res­cued.

The West­ern­ers were last seen in a hostage video re­leased in De­cem­ber 2016, plead­ing for their gov­ern­ments to in­ter­vene.

They van­ished af­ter set­ting off in the sum­mer of 2012 for a jour­ney that took them to Rus­sia, the cen­tral Asian coun­tries of Kaza­khstan, Ta­jik­istan and Kyr­gyzs­tan, and then to Afghanistan.

At the time they were seized, they were re­port­edly hik­ing in Afghanistan’s Ghazni prov­ince.

PHOTO: SITE IN­TEL GROUP/AP

FREE: Kid­napped Cana­dian Joshua Boyle and Amer­i­can Cait­lan Cole­man in an un­dated im­age.

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