Sunday, 22 October, 2017

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

American hostage Caitlan Coleman, family rescued in Pakistan after years of captivity York County community rejoices over family's release by Taliban-linked group
Bennie Garza | 13 October, 2017, 15:19

After US President Donald Trump praised Pakistan for the safe recovery of a Canadian-American couple and their three children, Islamabad has reassured Washington that this is a result of terrorist safe havens being relocated to the Parliament.

"The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan's continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy", the Pakistan Army statement said.

"The Pakistani government´s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America´s wish that it do more to provide security in the region", Trump told reporters.

Coleman was pregnant at the time she was kidnapped, and a video released by the Taliban in December showed two sons born while she and her husband were hostages.

The media wing of Pakistan Army announced on Thursday that they rescued five foreigners held captive by Taliban some five years back.

Through the years, videos and letters trickled out from their captors: Coleman and Boyle begging for freedom and for "money, power and friends" for the Haqqani network holding them prisoner. They met online as teenagers on Star Wars fan sites. Boyle's parents said he told them by phone he would see them in a couple of days.

"He was so amusing and so charismatic", he said.

Adventurous travelers, Coleman and Boyle had planned a backpacking trip through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan in 2012. They once spent months traveling through Latin America, where they lived among indigenous Guatemalans and where Boyle grew a long beard that led some children to call him "Santa Claus".

"I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing", the letter read.

Ms Coleman's parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, last heard from their son-in-law on October 8, 2012 from an internet cafe in what Josh described as an "unsafe" part of Afghanistan.

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

Previously, Boyle was married for a year to Zaynab Khadr, whose father had suspected ties to al-Qaida and whose brother was arrested in Afghanistan at the age of 15 and held in Guantanamo Bay for years.

Coleman gave birth to three children in captivity, and Boyle delivered at least one with a flashlight in his mouth before captors brought them "all [their] postpartum needs". "They have been living any parent's nightmare, and today they can begin to heal and recover".

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