Pakistan Rescues Western Couple Held by Afghan Taliban

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple Held by Afghan Taliban

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple Held by Afghan Taliban

It did not name the family, but 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 exchange was a secret operation to bring them home after one of the longest - and strangest - American hostage ordeals in recent history, counterterrorism officials told ABC News. The hostages were rescued "through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistani troops and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence)".

The couple went missing in Afghanistan in 2012 and the Afghan Taliban later claimed responsibility for abducting them.

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Coleman was pregnant when she was captured.

A Pakistan military statement said that based on "actionable intelligence from US", the rescue operation was conducted in the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday. USA officials confirmed there was intelligence about their location in recent days that was shared with the Pakistanis. They had started their trip in Russian Federation, then traveled to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, before finally ending up in Afghanistan.

The rescued hostages "are being repatriated to their country of origin", it added.

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U.S. intelligence officials believed the couple was being held by the Haqqani Network, a branch of the Taliban believed to be responsible for some of the group's most violent and sophisticated attacks. The group released two videos of the hostages.

Coleman's parents last heard from their son-in-law on October 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an "unsafe" part of Afghanistan.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond", Trump said during his August speech announcing the new strategy.

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