Canadian hostages held for 5 years in Afghanistan freed

Canadian hostages held for 5 years in Afghanistan freed

The parents of Canadian national Joshua Boyle lauded Pak Army soldiers for their rescue operation that led to the recovery of their son, held hostage by Taliban in 2012.

A second Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said US drones had been circling the town of Kohat, on the edge of the tribal areas on Wednesday, suggesting included sophisticated surveillance inside Pakistan.

"Today, our Commonwealth and our country give thanks that Caitlan Coleman, Josh Boyle and their children have been released from captivity", he said in a statement.

Pakistani troops shot out the tires of a vehicle carrying a kidnapped U.S.

US President Donald Trump said the "release of the US-Canadian family from a Taliban-linked group is a positive development for our country's relationship with Pakistan", according to a White House statement.

The Toronto Star reported that Boyle spoke to his parents after his release and told them he'd been in the trunk of the kidnappers' auto with his wife and children when Pakistani forces rescued them.

Pakistan's military said the family were rescued after entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, but two Taliban sources with knowledge of the family's captivity said they had been kept in Pakistan in recent years.

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.

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.

It added that United States intelligence agencies had been tracking the family in Afghanistan, and reported that on 11 October they had moved across the border into the Kurram tribal district of Pakistan.

Instead, they were abducted in Afghanistan and held captive by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, surfacing periodically over the next five years in video recordings sent to their loved ones and scrubbed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for clues. "We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey", Freeland said. She then adds: "My children have seen their mother defiled". Thursday's statements from Islamabad and Washington were the first mention of a third child.

Some officials said Pakistanis' motive for freeing the hostages may have been political rather than humanitarian, meant to reduce the tensions ahead of upcoming visits by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Afghanistan is rife with militants and organised criminal gangs who stage kidnappings for ransom, often targeting foreigners and wealthy Afghans, who are said to have been ferried over the border into Pakistan's tribal belt.

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