Caitlan Coleman and Family Released by Taliban in Pakistan


Joshua Boyle, a Canadian, and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were held hostage by the Taliban's Haqqani network for five years after they were abducted while traveling in Afghanistan.

"It will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home, to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost", he said.

Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped in 2012 while travelling in Afghanistan.

The couple and their children were rescued in a dramatic operation orchestrated by the US and Pakistani governments, officials said Thursday.

Pakistani commandos intercepted a vehicle the family was in when the kidnappers were taking their hostages across the border from Afghanistan.

Coleman's parents told the online Circa News service that they received a letter from their daughter in November 2015, in which she wrote that she'd given birth to a second child in captivity.

It's unclear how numerous suspects were killed, but Khan said one or two escaped did escape, and a search is underway.

He added that one of his children is in poor health and had to be force-fed by their Pakistani rescuers.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said the Pakistani raid that led to the family's rescue was based on a tip from USA intelligence and shows that Pakistan will act against a "common enemy" when Washington shares information.

Their release came almost five years to the day after Boyle and Coleman lost touch with their families while travelling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

"What I can say is taking your pregnant wife to a very risky place, to me, and the kind of person that I am, is unconscionable", he said.

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Freeland refused to describe the circumstances of the release, citing security reasons, but said Canada had been working with the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan, whom she thanked. A US official in 2014 described all of this as a "horrible coincidence".

The statement further added "intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on 11 Oct 2017 through Kurram Agency border".

Coleman's parents say they are elated, but also angry at their son-in law for taking their daughter to Afghanistan.

"God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination", Mr Boyle said in a written statement earlier.

Boyle provided a separate, handwritten statement then expressing disagreement with USA foreign policy.

The operation was carried out by Pakistani intelligence operatives - reportedly from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has always been a source of mounting frustration and annoyance in the United States - with the army providing perimeter protection, unidentified Pakistani officials told CNN, which also cited them as saying a gunfight broke out with the captors and an unspecified number of them were killed. The Americans consider it a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes.

Another US official said Mr Boyle was nervous about being in "custody" given his family ties.

He suffered only a shrapnel wound, his family said.

The group also operates like a criminal network, and unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash. Officials have dismissed any notion that the family's capture was connected to Boyle's previous marriage.

Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured, and was the youngest inmate held at Gitmo.