Rawalpindi, Oct. 12 (TNS): Pakistan Army in collaboration with intelligence agencies recovered US-Canadian couple and their three children who captured from Afghanistan in 2012, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said here on Thursday.
“Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from terrorists’ custody through an intelligence based operation,” the military media wing announced in a statement.
“They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan during 2012 and kept as hostages there.”
US intelligence agencies, it added, had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on Oct 11, 2017 through Kurram Agency border.
The communiqué said that the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities, was successful. “All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the military’s media wing added.
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 last known footage of Boyle and Coleman surfaced in December last year when they appeared in video urging their governments to secure their release. They were pictured holding their two young sons, who had been born while they were in captivity.
It was not clear when the video was shot, but it was released after rumours swirled in Kabul that the government was planning to execute Anas Haqqani, son of the Taliban-allied Haqqani network’s founder, who has been held since 2014.
The military touted the success of the operation as proof of the strength of the alliance.
The success, it added, underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan’s continued commitment towards fighting the menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy.
“We welcome media reports that a family including US citizens has been released from captivity,” a US embassy spokesperson in Islamabad said.