Pakistani troops rescued an American woman Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children who had been held by the Haqqani network, linked to the Taliban, since 2012, the Pakistani Army said in a statement on Thursday.
“Pak Army recovered five Western hostages including one Canadian, his US national wife and their three children from terrorist custody,” the statement said.
The troops rescued the family during an operation in Kurram tribal district located near the border with Afghanistan.
An intelligence tip from the United States helped to pinpoint the location of the individuals.
“Yesterday, the United States government, working in conjunction with the Government of Pakistan, secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan. Today they are free,” U.S. President Donald J. Trump said in a statement commenting on the operation.
A U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson told The Globe Post Pakistan played critical role in securing the release of the individuals.
“We are tremendously grateful for the assistance of the Government of Pakistan in gaining the release of Caitlin and her family. Their assistance was critical and we will not forget it,” the spokesperson said.
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that Ottawa had been actively engaged with the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the issue.
“Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a horrible ordeal over the past five years. We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey. We ask that the families’ privacy be respected,” she said.
According to media reports, the release may be the result of a negotiated deal and not a military raid.
US official: there was NO military operation to release Caitlan Coleman and her family. This was a negotiated handover.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) October 12, 2017