nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Ex-hostages Back in Canada After Harrowing Raid to Free Them

17 October 2017, 12:45 | Colleen Roy

Pakistan Rescues Western Couple Held by Afghan Taliban

Canadian Joshua Boyle left and U.S. citizen Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012

With hands trembling as he read his statement, Boyle lambasted the "stupidity and the evil" of his kidnappers, who he said were members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, for abducting both him and his pregnant wife during a trip to help villagers in Afghanistan's Taliban-controlled areas.

The US-Canadian couple rescued by Pakistan Army has reached Canada with their three children, Samaa reported.

In the summer of 2012, the couple embarked on a journey that took them to Russian Federation and the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and, ultimately, Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump addressed the joint rescue made by possible by the US and Pakistan in a press conference Thursday.

Pakistani commandos intercepted a auto the family was in when the kidnappers were taking their hostages across the border from Afghanistan.

Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity.

He nodded to one of the State Department officials and said, "Their interests are not my interests".

Boyle said one of his children is suffering from health issues and needed to be force-fed by rescuers.

In a video released by Pakistan's military that was filmed before he left that country for home, Boyle said Pakistani security forces positioned themselves between the hostages and their Haqqani network captors to keep the family safe amid the gunfire.

The couple were held hostage by militants in Afghanistan for five years.

Trump added, "I want to thank the Pakistani government and I want to thank Pakistan".

"What I can say is taking your pregnant wife to a very unsafe place, to me and the kind of person that I am, it's unconscionable", Coleman's father, Jim, told "Good Morning America" Friday.

Caitlan Coleman talks in a video while Canadian husband Joshua Boyle holds their two children in a video released by the Taliban in 2016. A USA official in 2014 described all of this as a "horrible coincidence".

Boyle said the killing of his daughter was retaliation for his "repeated refusal to accept an offer that the criminal miscreants of the Haqqani network had made to me".

The United States has long accused Pakistan of failing to fight the Taliban-allied Haqqani network.

The statement further added "intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on 11 Oct 2017 through Kurram Agency border".

Boyle also expressed his displeasure with U.S. foreign policy by gesturing to one of the U.S. State Department officials and saying, "Their interests are not my interests".

"To pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organised injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege", he wrote.

USA officials call the Haqqani group a terrorist organisation and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes.

Earlier Mr Boyle had been a spokesman for Omar Khadr, a Canadian held for 10 years at Guantánamo Bay after being captured as a teenager during a firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan, leading to a short marriage with Zaynab Khadr, Omar's sister. Her father, the late Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.

The Canadian-born Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops following a firefight and was taken to the USA detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

U.S. officials had earlier told reporters, on the condition of anonymity, that Mr Boyle refused to board a USA military aircraft in Pakistan.

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