US News Family held captive by Taliban-linked group released

16:36  12 october  2017
16:36  12 october  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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Link copied! ISLAMABAD (AP) — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban , U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

Taliban - Linked Group ReleasedAn American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years held captive by The family was being held by the Haqqani network. U.S. officials call the group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone

This still image made from a 2013 video released by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle in a militant video given to the family. The American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released in October 2017 after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban. The two were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and have been held by the Haqqani network. The couple had three children while in captivity. (Coleman family via AP) © The Associated Press This still image made from a 2013 video released by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle in a militant video given to the family. The American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released in October 2017 after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban. The two were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and have been held by the Haqqani network. The couple had three children while in captivity. (Coleman family via AP) ISLAMABAD — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

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ISLAMABAD — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban , U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

A Canadian man, his American wife and their three young children have been released after being held captive for years by a network with ties to the Taliban , U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network in Pakistan.

Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity, and all have been freed, U.S. officials say.

A U.S. national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for their critical assistance in securing the family's release — and described the cooperation as an important step in the right direction for U.S.-Pakistani relations.

FILE - In this June 4, 2014, file photo, mother's Linda Boyle, left and Lyn Coleman hold photo of their married children, Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle and American citizen Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2012, in Stewartstown, Pa. Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years. Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan. (AP Photo/Bill Gorman, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 4, 2014, file photo, mother's Linda Boyle, left and Lyn Coleman hold photo of their married children, Canadian citizen Joshua Boyle and American citizen Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2012, in Stewartstown, Pa. Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years. Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan. (AP Photo/Bill Gorman, File) The U.S. has long criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis, who have been behind many attacks against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

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ISLAMABAD — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban . U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban , U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

In Pakistan, its military said in a statement that U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and discovered they had come into Pakistan on Oct. 11 through its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

"All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin," the military said.

Three Pakistani military officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren't allowed to speak to journalists, also confirmed the hostages' identities.

The release, which came together rapidly Wednesday, comes nearly five years to the day since Coleman and Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The couple set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Coleman's parents last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an "unsafe" part of Afghanistan.

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ISLAMABAD — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban , U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

A Canadian man, his American wife, and their three young children have been released after years held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban . Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity . The family ’s current location, however, was unclear.

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

FILE - In this June 4, 2014, file photo, from left, Patrick Boyle, Linda Boyle, Lyn Coleman and Jim Coleman hold photo of their kidnapped children, Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2012, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Stewartstown, Pa. Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years. Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan. (AP Photo/Bill Gorman, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 4, 2014, file photo, from left, Patrick Boyle, Linda Boyle, Lyn Coleman and Jim Coleman hold photo of their kidnapped children, Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped by the Taliban in late 2012, Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Stewartstown, Pa. Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years. Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan. (AP Photo/Bill Gorman, File) Coleman's parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, told the online Circa News service in July 2016 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. It's unclear whether they knew she'd had a third.

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

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle are free. Their mysterious story is raising new questions.

  Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle are free. Their mysterious story is raising new questions. Some wonder if they’re trying to avoid tough questions from U.S. intelligence officials. Other U.S. officials played down that explanation. © Taliban Media via AP In this image from video released by Taliban Media in December 2016, Caitlan Coleman speaks while her husband Joshua Boyle holds their two children. “The administration made very clear that if they wanted to come back to the United States there would be no problems,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with the case and was speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss dealings with the family.

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban . The couple had three children while in captivity . The family 's current location, however, was unclear.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban . The couple had three children while in captivity . The family 's current location, however, was unclear.

In that interview, Jim Coleman issued a plea to top Taliban commanders to be "kind and merciful" and let the couple go.

"As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our beautiful grandchildren," Jim Coleman said. "Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us, and bring peace to their families."

The family was being held by the Haqqani network. U.S. officials call the group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

Trump has called on Pakistan to do more to tackle militant organizations that use its territory as a home base.

"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. He issued a stark warning: "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately."

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Baldor reported from Tampa, Florida, and Colvin from Washington. Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.


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