Pakistan's army frees Western hostages held by Taliban for years

Pakistan's army frees Western hostages held by Taliban for years

The Taliban has released an American hostage along with her Canadian husband and their three children, a US official and the Pakistani military said Thursday.

It did not name the family, but Canadian Joshua Boyle and his U.S. wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012.

The last known footage of the couple surfaced in December past year when they appeared in video urging their governments to secure their release.

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

The rescued hostages "are being repatriated to their country of origin", it added. A video released by the Taliban past year had showed the family, including two young boys.

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

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Coleman was five-months pregnant at the time and the couple was backpacking through Central Asia.

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

Boyle, 34, and Coleman, 31, were kidnapped by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in October 2012.

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond", Trump said in a recent speech announcing his Afghanistan policy.

The Taliban continue to hold other western hostages including United States citizen Kevin King, 60, and Australian citizen Timothy Weeks, 48.

In September, three administration officials told CNN that US Special Operations Forces from SEAL Team 6 attempted to rescue the two teachers shortly after they were kidnapped but the captives were not at the location the US forces raided.

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