US President Donald Trump, has thanked the Pakistani government after the Pakistan Army recovered a Canadian family that had been held hostage by the Afghan Taliban.
He said Pakistani troops and intelligence agents, acting on a US intelligence tip, zeroed in on a vehicle holding the family as they were being moved in Kurram agency.
The Pakistani military on Thursday carried out an operation to free Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children, after receiving a tip-off from the United States that the family had been transferred from Afghanistan to Pakistan. They are known to have had children while in captivity.
"Pak Army recovered 5 Western hostages including 1 Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from terrorist custody", it said of the operation, which was launched after Pakistani authorities received intelligence from US officials.
The couple were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012, and USA intelligence on Wednesday told Pakistan that the hostages had been moved over the border into northwestern Pakistan, according to an army statement.
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 United States believed the hostages were probably held by the Haqqani group in or near its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan the entire time, two other USA officials said. The early Thursday rescue operation "by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from USA authorities was successful".
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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. It was a risky venture for any couple traveling without escort, especially since Coleman was pregnant with their first child.
Pakistani troops shot out the tires of a vehicle carrying a kidnapped U.S.
In 2009, Boyle was briefly married to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian-born Omar Khadr who spent a decade at Guantanamo. "We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey", Freeland said.
The media wing of Pakistan Army announced on Thursday that they rescued five foreigners held captive by Taliban some five years back.
Both are riven by militancy, with Daesh gaining a foothold in Nangarhar and Paktia seen as a Haqqani stronghold.
According to a White House statement also issued on Thursday, Trump said that the United States in cooperation with Pakistan secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan.
They most recently appeared in a hostage video released in June this year.