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American family kidnapped by Afghan Taliban freed: Pakistan army

12 October 2017, 04:21 | Taylor George

Pakistan Army recovers Canadian-American family abducted in Afghanistan

Pakistan's army says Canadian man, family rescued from 'terrorist custody'

-Canadian couple and their three children after receiving intelligence from the United States, Pakistan said on Thursday, almost five years after the couple was kidnapped in Afghanistan.

USA intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and on Wednesday shared that they family had been moved across to Pakistan through Kurram tribal area border, the army said.

Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman along with their children were freed this week during an operation involving Pakistani forces.

Coleman was five-months pregnant at the time and the couple was backpacking through Central Asia.

"She is telling me, 'Dad, I wish had listened to you more and not been Ariel and more a Belle", the elder Coleman said.

They were reportedly held by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond", Trump said in a recent speech announcing his Afghanistan policy. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

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In August 2016, the Haqqani Taliban snatched two professors from American University of Kabul, one American and one Australian, in retaliation for Anas Haqqani's death sentence.

It was unclear Thursday morning whether the Boyle-Coleman family's freedom came as the result of a new deal.

It is possible that the successful recovery of the family was what was being referenced Wednesday when President Donald Trump told a crowd in Pennsylvania that "something happened today where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news".

The five family members were in the custody of officials from the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Pakistan, according to a U.S. official.

"I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing", the letter said. But this is a country that did not respect us.

Their families did not know they had crossed into Afghanistan.



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