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  1. ITV Report

Freed hostage of Taliban-linked group says his baby daughter was murdered

A man who was held hostage together with his wife for five years by Taliban-linked insurgents has accused their captives of murdering the couple's infant daughter.

Canadian Joshua Boyle and his pregnant American partner Caitlan Coleman were taken hostage in 2012 in Afghanistan.

They had three children while being held by Haqqani network extremists before the family were finally released earlier this week.

As he arrived in Toronto, Mr Boyle told reporters that his wife had been raped and one of their newborn children killed by their captors.

The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network's kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.

– Joshua Boyle

Boyle said child, named Marta Boyle, was killed "as retaliation" for his refusal to accept an unspecified offer by members of the terror group.

He said the murder was followed by the rape of his wife - which he said was assisted by other terror group including to commandant of the Haqqani network.

He asked for the Afghan government to bring them to justice.

"God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network," he said.

Mr Boyle speaks to reporters at Toronto airport. Credit: AP

He said he was in Afghanistan to help villagers "who live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help."

On the plane from London, Boyle provided a written statement to reporters saying his family has "unparalleled resilience and determination."

Government officials said Pakistani forces carried out the rescue mission on Wednesday based on U.S. intelligence information.

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".