Of­fi­cial de­tails car chase that freed US-Cana­dian fam­ily

Cou­ple and chil­dren who were kid­napped in 2012 flew out yes­ter­day

Gulf News - - PAKISTAN -

Pak­istani troops shot out the tyres of a ve­hi­cle car­ry­ing a kid­napped US-Cana­dian cou­ple and their chil­dren in a raid that led to the fam­ily’s re­lease af­ter five years of be­ing held hostage, a Pak­istani se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day. US drones were hov­er­ing near the north­west­ern Pak­istani area where Amer­i­can Cait­lan Camp­bell, her Cana­dian hus­band Joshua Boyle and their three chil­dren, all born in cap­tiv­ity, were freed, an­other se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said.

Camp­bell and Boyle were held by the Tal­iban-linked Haqqani net­work af­ter be­ing kid­napped while back­pack­ing in Afghanistan, and their res­cue marked a rare pos­i­tive note in of­ten­fraught US-Pak­istan re­la­tions.

The fam­ily flew out of Pak­istan yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to a Pak­istani air­port of­fi­cial who saw them. It was not clear whether they were bound for Canada or the United States.

Dra­matic res­cue

A se­nior Pak­istani se­cu­rity source yes­ter­day de­tailed how the fam­ily were freed fol­low­ing a car chase in the north­west­ern tribal re­gion bor­der­ing Afghanistan. He said Pak­istani troops and in­tel­li­gence agents, act­ing on a US in­tel­li­gence tip, ze­roed in on a ve­hi­cle hold­ing the fam­ily as they were be­ing moved into Kur­ram tribal agency near the town of Ko­hat, some 60km inside Pak­istan.

Agents from Pak­istan’s In­ter Ser­vices In­tel­li­gence (ISI) spy agency and sol­diers at­tempted to in­ter­cept the ve­hi­cle, but it sped away, ac­cord­ing to the se­cu­rity source. “Our troops fired at the ve­hi­cle and burst its tyres,” he said, de­clin­ing to be iden­ti­fied.

The kid­nap­pers man­aged to es­cape, the se­cu­rity of­fi­cial added, say­ing the troops wouldn’t fire at the flee­ing cap­tors for fear of harm­ing the hostages. The army re­cov­ered the hostages safely from the car.

The fam­ily’s res­cue has been hailed by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump as a “pos­i­tive moment” for US-Pak­istan re­la­tions.

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