American family kidnapped by Afghan Taliban freed: Pakistan army


Pakistan's army said Thursday its troops have rescued a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children from "terrorist custody" following a tip from US intelligence agencies.

Pakistani troops have rescued a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children from "terrorist custody" following a tip from U.S. intelligence agencies, the army said on Thursday. In December the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, said the Haqqani Network held a total of five American hostages.

The army did not name those held, only saying it worked with United States intelligence officials to track them down and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan.

The rescued hostages "are being repatriated to their country of origin", it added.

Pakistan's military handed over Caitlan Coleman, a 31-year-old American citizen, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, 34, to US commandos in a secret mission late Wednesday, ABC News reported.

Coleman, 31, was pregnant at the time of abduction.

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos asking the USA government to free them from the Taliban.

The Pakistani military confirmed the news in a statement.

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USA intelligence officials believed the couple was being held by the Haqqani Network, a branch of the Taliban believed to be responsible for some of the group's most violent and sophisticated attacks.

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

They most recently appeared in a hostage video released in June this year.

The young mother, who grew up in Stewartsttown, Pa., tells her father, Jim Coleman, that her personality in captivity has changed from being like one Disney heroine to another.

"I think it's clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups", Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate Armed Services Hearing on Afghanistan and South Asia last week, using the Pakistan intelligence agency's acronym.

The family was kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress last week Pakistan would no longer be a sanctuary for terrorism.

Today, Pakistan Army conducted a rescue operation and recovered these five foreigners from within the country.