Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Taliban hostages released after almost five years in captivity

Taliban hostages released after almost five years in captivity

US President Donald Trump, has thanked the Pakistani government after the Pakistan Army recovered a Canadian family that had been held hostage by the Afghan Taliban.

The communiqué said that the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from United States authorities, was successful.

US officials expressed hope that the hostages' freedom could represent a turning point in relations between Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other Islamist extremists in the region. This is a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan. "It was incredible. He told us how much his children were looking forward meeting their grandparents", his mother, Linda Boyle, said. The AP reported in June 2014 about the existence of videos received by Coleman's father in which the couple - Coleman, in a conservative black garment and Boyle with a long, untrimmed beard - implored the US government to help free them.

In a statement released on Thursday in Ottawa, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the Canadian government was relieved that the Boyle family was released and thanked the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan for their joint efforts in the rescue mission.

The Toronto Star reported that the last words Boyle heard from the kidnappers were "kill the hostages".

The only trace of the couple since they vanished had been in the form of videos released by their captors and family letters.

The Toronto Star reported that in a phone call to his parents after his release, Mr Boyle said the family had been in the boot of the kidnappers' auto when Pakistani forces rescued them.

Declining to discuss USA intelligence in detail that was shared with Pakistan, they said the United States had been tracking cars capable of holding six or more people moving from place to place, which analysts had concluded were suggestive of moving hostages.

Coleman was pregnant at the time.

The United States believed the hostages were probably held by the Haqqani group in or near its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan the entire time, two other USA officials said.

The sign asked that their privacy be respected while they "make plans for the future". Thursday's statements from Islamabad and Washington were the first mention of a third child.

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.

. "We are prepared to bring them back home", the official said.

Boyle and Coleman were held for five years by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in Afghanistan.

Taliban sources said the family spent most of their captivity at Haqqani strongholds inside Pakistan, and not in Afghanistan as early Pakistani reports had indicated.

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