Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trudeau thanks allies for Canadian family's rescue

Trudeau thanks allies for Canadian family's rescue

-Canadian couple and their three children born in captivity have been freed in Pakistan, almost five years after the couple was abducted in neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistani and US officials said on Thursday.

Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan 2012, and are believed to have had at least two children while in captivity.

The couple refused to immediately board a US-bound jet over concerns about the husband's past links to a former Guantanamo Bay inmate.

The couple and their children - all three born in captivity - were rescued in a dramatic operation orchestrated by the USA and Pakistani governments, officials said Thursday.

U.S. officials said they shared intelligence with Pakistan when the family was moved into the country, and the Trump administration confirmed the news on Thursday that they had been freed.

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

She was pregnant at the time with her first child.

Patrick Boyle said his son told him he wanted to cooperate with officials to ensure his family's captors were brought to justice "for the horrendous things they did to his wife". But the official said Boyle did not risk any United States repercussions. It was revealed Thursday that Coleman had a third child.

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 Haqqani network operates on both sides of the porous Afghan-Pakistani border but senior militants have acknowledged they moved a major base of operations to Kurram agency in the tribal areas.

Mattis, who last week said the United States would try "one more time" to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan, was upbeat on Thursday.

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.

The Afghan Taliban are also believed to be holding American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weekes, both professors at the American University of Afghanistan, who were dragged from their vehicles in Kabul by armed men in August a year ago.

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

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