US woman, Canadian man held hostage by Haqqani Network freed

Islamabad, Oct 12: An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban, US and Pakistani officials said on Thursday. US officials said Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago while travelling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani Network in Pakistan. Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity, and all have been freed, US officials say. A US national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for its critical assistance in securing the family’s release and described the cooperation as an important step in the right direction for US-Pakistani relations. The US has long criticised Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis, who have been behind many attacks against US and allied forces in Afghanistan.
In Pakistan, its military said in a statement that US intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and discovered they had come into Pakistan on October 11 through its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
“All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the military said. Three Pakistani military officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren’t allowed to speak to journalists, also confirmed the hostages’ identities. (Agencies)