Nation & World

American woman, Canadian husband and children freed from Taliban faction in Pakistan after 5-year hostage ordeal

A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on December 19, 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman (L) speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. (Taliban/Social media via Reuters)
A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on December 19, 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman (L) speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. (Taliban/Social media via Reuters)

An American woman and her Canadian husband held by a Taliban-linked faction have been freed more than five years after being abducted and having three children while captive, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

A statement by the Pakistani military said the couple and the three children were found “through an intelligence-based operation,” but gave no further details.

Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband Joshua Boyle were abducted in October 2012 while traveling in Afghanistan and were held in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, a militant faction with ties to the Taliban.

Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity.

“All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the military said.

The release came just after the fifth anniversary since Coleman and Boyle went missing while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul, as part of a journey through Russia and Central Asia.

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos asking the U.S. government to free them from the Taliban.

Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, told the online Circa News service in July 2016 that they received a letter from their daughter in November 2015, in which she wrote that she’d given birth to a second child in captivity. It’s unclear whether they knew she’d had a third, the Associated Press reported.

“I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing,” the letter said.

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