An American woman, her Canadian husband, and their three children born in captivity were released by insurgents in Pakistan linked to the Taliban.
Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle were kidnapped five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network since.
Coleman was pregnant when abducted. The couple had all three of their children while in captivity.
President Donald Trump issued a statement on the release, saying, “The United States government, working in conjunction with the government of Pakistan, secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan. Today they are free.”
Pakistan’s military said in a statement that it had “recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his U.S. national wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies.”
The family was being held in the American embassy in Pakistan and it is not publicly known when the family plans to return to North America.
“The Pakistani government’s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America’s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region,” Trump said in his statement.
“We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.”
The leader of the Haqqani network is also the head of the Afghan Taliban. The United States has criticized Pakistan in the past for not going after the extremely wealthy and well-connected Haqqanis, who are considered to be part of the Taliban terror organization.
The Haqqanis have been blamed more for than 2,000 U.S. military deaths, and their deep links to local tribes have dubbed them the “Kennedys of the Taliban movement.”
By Sara Shayanian