York County community rejoices over family's release by Taliban-linked group

York County community rejoices over family's release by Taliban-linked group

-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.

The rescue, prompted by a tip from US intelligence officers tracking the family, was announced in a statement Thursday from Pakistan's army.

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 media wing of Pakistan Army announced on Thursday that they rescued five foreigners held captive by Taliban some five years back. All three children were born in captivity.

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' vehicle with his wife and children when Pakistani forces rescued them.

Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement on Thursday said the hostages were rescued "through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistani troops and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)".

Another military official told AFP the couple was hesitating to board a USA military jet in Pakistan over the Canadian husband's concerns he could face American scrutiny for links to a former Guantanamo captive.

Trump, in a statement, said the release of the hostages indicates Pakistan was acquiescing to "America's wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region".

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But one USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no indication that the hostages had been in Afghanistan in the days before they were freed, contrary to the Pakistani account.

He said there had been a shootout and the last words he heard from the kidnappers were "kill the hostages".

The family was rescued on Thursday after Pakistani security forces ambushed their captors.

The hostages are "safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin", the military statement said, after the rescue in Kurram tribal agency, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland asked for respect for the family's privacy. She then adds: "My children have seen their mother defiled".

Tillerson in a statement said Trump's strategy in the region recognised "the important role Pakistan needs to play to bring stability and ultimately peace to the region".

Taliban sources said the family spent most of their captivity at Haqqani strongholds inside Pakistan, and not in Afghanistan as early Pakistani reports had indicated.

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