Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pak Army recovers five Western hostages

Pak Army recovers five Western hostages

After five years since being kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a York County woman and her family have been freed.

The Pakistani Army "recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his USA national wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies", according to the statement.

ABC News reports that Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her husband Joshua Boyle, 34, were freed from Taliban captivity and then secured in an exchange between Pakistani military and USA commandos late Wednesday. The couple had three children while in captivity.

An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement today said the hostages included a Canadian, his American wife, and their three children.

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

It is not clear how much Pakistan may have aided in the rescue efforts for Coleman and her family.

"They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there", the ISPR handout said.

Coleman, 31, and Boyle, 33, in their last video message released in December 2016, urged then-President-elect Donald Trump to negotiate with the Taliban to secure their release in return for the prisoners.

The U.S. has criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis.

Trump has made getting tougher with Pakistan in an effort to get them to crack-down on the Taliban a central tenant of his recently announced strategy for Afghanistan and the wider region. He issued a stark warning: "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting".

"That will have to change, and that will change immediately", Trump added, saying "No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target US service members and officials".

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