Taliban hostage family rescued
AN AMERICAN woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a group that has ties to the Taliban.
US officials said Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago while travelling in Afghanistan and then were held by the Haqqani network.
Ms Coleman was pregnant when she was captured.
The couple had three children while in captivity, and all have been freed, US officials said.
The Pakistani military said the family had been freed in “an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops” after they’d crossed the border from Afghanistan and were “being repatriated to the country of their origin.”
But as of Thursday midday, local time, the family’s precise whereabouts were unclear, and it was not immediately known when they would return to North America.
Another US official said Mr Boyle was nervous about being in “custody” given his background.
Mr Boyle was once married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of former Guantánamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr and the daughter of a late senior alQaeda financier. Her father, Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.
The Toronto Star reported that Mr Boyle spoke to his parents after his release and told them he’d been in the trunk of the kidnappers’ car with his wife and children 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.”
The release happened nearly five years to the day after Ms Coleman and Mr Boyle lost touch with their families while travelling in a region near the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Caitlan Coleman, and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle, holding their children, in an undated video grab.