Pakistan's army says Canadian man, family rescued from 'terrorist custody'

Pakistan's army says Canadian man, family rescued from 'terrorist custody'

Pakistan's army says Canadian man, family rescued from 'terrorist custody'

They were abducted by Afghan-based terrorists in 2012 and kept as hostages for five years.

The couple were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012 and USA intelligence on Wednesday told Pakistan that the hostages had been moved over the border into northwestern Pakistan, according to an army statement.

The recovered hostages "are being repatriated to their country of origin", the ISPR said.

However, sources identified the hostages as Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their children who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012.

A Pakistan military statement said that based on "actionable intelligence from USA", the rescue operation was conducted in the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border on Wednesday.

The Pakistani military confirmed the news in a statement.

The US military has long believed that Pakistan's principal intelligence organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, has maintained links with the Taliban, particularly the Haqqani Network.

The family was being held by the Haqqani network. A few months later, in December, the Colemans appeared in a new video - seen for the first time with their children, who were born as hostages - warning that their survival depended on a reprieve for Taliban prisoners.

The couple were last seen in a video released in December a year ago where they pleaded for their governments to help free them. US officials call the group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes.

"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.

Their families did not know they had crossed into Afghanistan.

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