Fam­ily freed from cap­tiv­ity with Tal­iban-linked group

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - NATION - By Jill Colvin, Lolita C. Baldor and Munir Ahmed The As­so­ci­ated Press

WASH­ING­TON — An Amer­i­can wo­man, her Cana­dian hus­band and their three chil­dren have been re­leased af­ter years of be­ing held cap­tive by a group that has ties to the Tal­iban and is con­sid­ered a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion by the United States, U.S. and Pak­istani of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

U.S. of­fi­cials said Pak­istan se­cured the re­lease of Cait­lan Cole­man of Ste­wart­stown, Penn­syl­va­nia, and her hus­band, Cana­dian Joshua Boyle, who were ab­ducted five years ago while trav­el­ing in Afghanistan and held by the Haqqani net­work.

Cole­man was preg­nant at the time and gave birth to her three chil­dren while in cap­tiv­ity, of­fi­cials said.

“To­day they are free,” Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said in a state­ment, cred­it­ing the U.S. govern­ment with se­cur­ing the re­lease “work­ing in con­junc­tion with the Govern­ment of Pak­istan.”

Trump later praised Pak­istan for its will­ing­ness to “do more to pro­vide se­cu­rity in the re­gion” and said the re­lease sug­gests other “coun­tries are start­ing to re­spect the United States of Amer­ica once again.”

The Pak­istani mil­i­tary said the fam­ily had been freed in “an in­tel­li­gence-based op­er­a­tion by Pak­istan troops” af­ter they had crossed the border from Afghanistan.

Boyle and the High Com­mis­sioner for Pak­istan to Canada de­scribed a scene in which gun­shots rang out as Boyle, his wife and their chil­dren were in­ter­cepted by Pak­istani forces while be­ing trans­ported in the trunk of their cap­tors’ car.

Boyle told his par­ents there had been a shootout and that the last words he heard from the kid­nap­pers were “kill the hostage,” his fa­ther, Pa­trick, told The Toronto

Star af­ter speak­ing with his son. Three in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials said the con­fronta­tion hap­pened near a road cross­ing in the Nawa Kili area of the district of Ko­hat in north­west Pak­istan.

The high com­mis­sioner, Tariq Azim Khan, said, “We know there was a shootout and Pak­istan com­man­dos car­ried out an at­tack and res­cued the hostages.”

The As­so­ci­ated Press In this im­age from video re­leased by the Tal­iban in De­cem­ber 2016, Cait­lan Cole­man of Ste­wart­stown, Pa., talks while her hus­band, Joshua Boyle, holds two of their chil­dren.

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