Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Pakistan official details vehicle chase that freed kidnapped US-Canadian family

Pakistan official details vehicle chase that freed kidnapped US-Canadian family

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children were rescued in Pakistan on Wednesday, five years after the couple was captured by a terrorist group while hiking in Afghanistan.

The communiqué said that the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from USA authorities, was successful. Their three children were born during their time in captivity.

The couple was supposed to return to the that Coleman, then pregnant, could deliver her baby.

President Trump who praised Pakistan for "doing more" following the recovery of the US-Canadian family, has been reassured that Islamabad would do even more.

"They really and truly believed that if people were loved and treated with respect that that would be given back to them in kind", Linda Boyle, Boyle's mother, told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview.

"Today they are free".

But one USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no indication that the hostages had been in Afghanistan in the days before they were freed, contrary to the Pakistani account.

The Toronto Star reported that the last words Boyle heard from the kidnappers were "kill the hostages".

The family was rescued on Thursday after Pakistani security forces ambushed their captors.

He said Pakistani troops and intelligence agents, acting on a USA intelligence tip, zeroed in on a vehicle holding the family as they were being moved in Kurram agency.

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

The rescue came as Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other militant groups in the region, are experiencing one of the worst lows in relations.

"It was a matter of interdicting vehicles", another USA official told Reuters, saying the United States never dictated to Pakistan how precisely to secure the hostages' release. Thursday's statements from Islamabad and Washington were the first mention of a third child. "We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey", Freeland said.

Instead, they were abducted in Afghanistan and held captive by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, surfacing periodically over the next five years in video recordings sent to their loved ones and scrubbed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for clues.

Tillerson in a statement said Trump's strategy in the region recognised "the important role Pakistan needs to play to bring stability and ultimately peace to the region".

Mattis, who last week said the United States would try "one more time" to work with Pakistan in Afghanistan, was upbeat on Thursday.

Agents from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) spy-agency and army soldiers attempted to intercept the vehicle, but it sped away and was chased into a district in northwest Pakistan, according to the security source.

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