Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Family set free after being held captive for five years by Taliban-linked group

Caitlan Coleman and her husband Joshua Boyle had three children in captivity.

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been freed by a network with ties to the Taliban after being held hostage for five years.

Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Joshua Boyle.

Mrs Coleman was pregnant when they were abducted while traveling in Afghanistan in 2012. The couple had their three children while being held by the Haqqani network.

The Pakistani Army said it had “recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his US national wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies”.

“All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the Pakistani military said in a statement.

The family were taken into the custody of officials from the US Embassy in Pakistan.

But a US official reportedly told NBC News that Mr Boyle had refused to get on the C-130 plane sent by the US to return the family to the US. It was not immediately clear why they rejected the transportation.

The couple set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Mrs Coleman’s parents last heard from their son-in-law on October 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Mr Boyle described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.

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

President Donald Trump said the US government had worked with Pakistani officials to secure their release and that it was "a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan".