North American hostages rescued from Taliban-linked group in Pakistan

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An American woman and her family were freed on Wednesday from a Taliban-linked group in Afghanistan after an operation conducted by Pakistani forces working off information gathered by USA intelligence agencies.

"Joshua, Caitlan, their children and the Boyle and Coleman families have endured a terrible ordeal over the past five years", she said in a statement.

The couple had been kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012 and held in Pakistan by a criminal network linked to the Taliban.

Boyle's parents say their son told them in a letter that he and his wife tried to protect the children by pretending their signs of captivity were part of a game being played with guards.

Pakistan said the family was in the process of being repatriated, but their current location is unclear.

The official says the family is free, but the husband didn't want to board a US transport plane.

Tillerson said he is "particularly proud of" U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, along with "his Mission Islamabad team for their engagement with Pakistan".

A US national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for their assistance. Boyle said the last words he heard from his captors before they were killed, were "kill the hostages". The Boyle family provided it to the Toronto Star and to ABC News.


Security agencies of the United States (US) had informed Pakistan yesterdat through intelligence link that the hostages were transferred from Afghanistan to Pakistan across the border. Coleman, who was pregnant when the couple was captured, had three children in captivity.

She said that Canada has been engaged with the governments of the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"I have waited, since 2012, for someone to understand our problems", Coleman said.

INSKEEP: So this family spent five years in captivity.

In his statement Thursday, Trump described the release as "a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan". It seems that the - the Pakistani military has - has focused on the fact that this has been a joint-intelligence based operation where they acted on what they call actionable intelligence that was provided by the US intelligence agencies.

"Success underscores importance of sharing intelligence and Pakistan's commitment to combating this threat through cooperation between two forces (Americans and Pakistanis) against common enemy", said ISPR.

She said the key in most such cases, however, is to allow children to process their reactions in an environment that lets them come to terms with their new norm.

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