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

Pauline Gross
October 16, 2017

Freed hostage Caitlan Coleman's father is questioning his Canadian son-in-law's decision to take his pregnant wife hiking in Afghanistan and, once released after five years in captivity, refusing to fly home on an American military plane.

Terming Boyle's allegations as "baseless", Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban, claimed that the group had never raped any woman or hostages meant to be exchanged for Taliban prisoners.

The kidnappers managed to escape, the security official added, saying the troops wouldn't fire at the fleeing captors for fear of harming the hostages.

Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle says he believes he and his wife were targeted for kidnapping because she was visibly pregnant at the time.

Canada's Toronto Star newspaper reported that Boyle told his parents that he asked to be taken to the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad after their rescue.

Boyle did not say whether the militants killed a child, only that his captors were responsible for "authorizing the murder" of his infant daughter.

The troops were part of a search party deployed in the Kurram tribal district to hunt down the handlers of a kidnapped American-Canadian family Pakistani forces rescued from captivity last week on a tip from US intelligence, the army said.

"These are children who three days ago they did know what a toilet looks like".

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A family held captive by the Taliban for five years has been pictured back home for the first time after being released.

"Did we not put bullets in those bastards?'" Boyle recalled, appearing beside his wife and children in the video.

He told a reporter on the plane that the '(US State Department's) interests are not my interests'.

The Haqqani group is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Thursday told Reuters that the USA military had been ready to fly the family out of the country after they were freed but said Boyle, who is Canadian, had refused to board the aircraft.

The Canadian, his wife and their children were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the back of their captors' vehicle.

'Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call home, to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost'. She was the daughter of a senior al Qaeda financier and friend of Osama bin Laden.

The U.S. Justice Department said neither Boyle nor Coleman is wanted for any federal crime.

Other reports by GizPress

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