Pak Army re­cov­ers for­eign fam­ily kid­napped in Afghanistan

Trump praises re­lease of US-Cana­dian fam­ily, says ‘pos­i­tive’ for US-Pak­istan re­la­tions

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ISLAMABAD/WASH­ING­TON: Pak­istan Army on Thurs­day res­cued five ab­ducted for­eign na­tion­als in an in­tel­li­gence-based op­er­a­tion (IBO), the In­ter-Ser­vices Pub­lic Re­la­tions (ISPR) said in a state­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Pak­istan Army’s me­dia wing, the hostages in­cluded a Cana­dian, his Amer­i­can wife, and their three chil­dren. They were kid­napped by ter­ror­ists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there.

The op­er­a­tion was con­ducted by the Pak­istani troops af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­tel­li­gence from the US au­thor­i­ties, who had been track­ing them and shared their shift­ing across to Pak­istan on Oc­to­ber 11 through the Kur­ram Agency border.

The re­cov­ered hostages are be­ing repa­tri­ated to their coun­try of ori­gin.

The cap­tives are not iden­ti­fied but are likely to be be Joshua Boyle and Cait­lan Cole­man, kid­napped in Afghanistan in 2012 while on a back­pack­ing trip.

The last known footage of the cou­ple sur­faced in De­cem­ber last year when they ap­peared in video urg­ing their gov­ern­ments to se­cure their re­lease. They were pic­tured hold­ing their two young sons, who had been born while they were in cap­tiv­ity.

Mean­while, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump an­nounced that US and Pak­istani of­fi­cials had se­cured the re­lease of a Amer­i­can wo­man, her Cana­dian hus­band and their three chil­dren from Tal­iban cap­tiv­ity.

The US leader iden­ti­fied the kid­napped cou­ple as Cait­lan Cole­man and Joshua Boyle, and said their re­lease was a “pos­i­tive mo­ment” for US re­la­tions with Pak­istan.

“Ms Cole­man gave birth to the cou­ple’s three chil­dren while they were in cap­tiv­ity,” Trump said, in a White House state­ment. “To­day, they are free.”

Trump said that the fam­ily had been held hostage by the Haqqani net­work, “a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion with ties to the Tal­iban.”

A still im­age from a video posted by the Tal­iban on so­cial me­dia on 19 De­cem­ber 2016 shows Amer­i­can Cait­lan Cole­man, left, speak­ing next to her Cana­dian hus­band Joshua Boyle and their two sons.

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