Pakistan 'frees' Taliban hostage family

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2017

The operation came after years of US pressure on Pakistan for assistance.

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.

"So we're waiting for that", his mother, Linda Boyle, said in a video posted on the Toronto Star newspaper's website. Boyle's parents said he told them by phone he would see them in a couple of days.

"Canada has been actively engaged with the governments of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we thank them for their efforts, which have resulted in the release of Joshua, Caitlan and their children", Freeland said in the statement.

"The last words Boyle said he heard from the kidnappers were, 'kill the hostages, '" the Star reported.

Boyle reportedly told his parents that he and his family were in the trunk of a vehicle when they were rescued during a shoot-out that left the captors dead and Boyle injured with minor shrapnel wounds.

The rescue came as Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other militant groups in the region, are experiencing one of the worst lows in relations.

The couple were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, and US intelligence on Wednesday told Pakistan that the hostages had been moved over the border into northwestern Pakistan, according to an army statement.

They were freed Thursday in a mission carried out by Pakistani forces based on intelligence from USA authorities. It was a risky venture for any couple traveling without escort, especially since Coleman was pregnant with their first child.

The sign asked that their privacy be respected while they "make plans for the future".

"Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a frightful ordeal over the past five years. We are prepared to bring them back home", the official said.

Some officials said Pakistanis' motive for freeing the hostages may have been political rather than humanitarian, meant to reduce the tensions ahead of upcoming visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Another Foreign Office official said that the elimination of the current havens and safe readjustment of the targets would also ensure that Pakistan doesn't contribute to the refugee crisis, which in the long run could have put the country on the US' banned countries list.

The Pakistan Army says it has recovered a Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from "terrorist custody" after receiving intelligence from US officials.

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