Tal­iban hostage fam­ily res­cued

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - WORLD -

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.

Pic­ture: AFP

Cait­lan Cole­man, and her Cana­dian hus­band Joshua Boyle, hold­ing their chil­dren, in an un­dated video grab.

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