American hostage Caitlan Coleman, family rescued in Pakistan after years of captivity

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

Pakistani soldiers have freed a North American family of five who were being held hostage by the Afghan Taliban, Pakistan's military says. The early Thursday rescue operation "by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities was successful". During this time the couple remained under the custody of the Haqqani network, and they also bore three children.

Another military official told AFP the couple was hesitating to board a United States military jet in Pakistan over the Canadian husband's concerns he could face American scrutiny for links to a former Guantanamo captive.

"This is a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan", President Donald Trump said in a statement.

"So we're waiting for that", his mother, Linda Boyle, said in a video posted on the Toronto Star newspaper's website.

However, the U.S. and Canadian governments have assured that Boyle will not be under any sort of investigation and he will be free to live a normal life.

In a statement released on Thursday in Ottawa, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the Canadian government was relieved that the Boyle family was released and thanked the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan for their joint efforts in the rescue mission.

A friend of Boyle's who asked to be identified by his first name, Greg, said he met the intensely private Boyle about 15 years ago playing an online Star Wars game.

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

Declining to discuss USA intelligence in detail that was shared with Pakistan, they said the United States had been tracking cars capable of holding six or more people moving from place to place, which analysts had concluded were suggestive of moving hostages.

After the release of the family, they emphasized the importance of co-operation and intelligence sharing by Washington, which has threatened to cut military aid and other punitive measures against Pakistan.

"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.

"Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a disgusting ordeal over the past five years".

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".

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

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