Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Hattie Nash

Pakistan Army rescues five foreign hostages kidnapped by terrorists

Pakistan Army rescues five foreign hostages kidnapped by terrorists

Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her husband Joshua Boyle, 34, were freed from Taliban captivity and then secured in an exchange between Pakistani military and US commandos late Wednesday in a secret operation to bring them home after one of the longest - and strangest - American hostage ordeals in recent history, counterterrorism officials revealed.

The rescue was announced in a statement Thursday from Pakistan's army.

However, two army officials who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday identified the hostages as Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their children who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman, who was pregnant when the couple was captured, had three children in captivity.

A USA military official said that a military hostage team had flown to Pakistan Wednesday, prepared to fly the family out.

"Have mercy on me and get me out", King said in the video.

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The military official said the family is still in Pakistan, and there are ongoing discussions about how and when they will leave.

The only trace of the couple since has been in the form of videos released by their captors and family letters.

Officials planned to move the family out of Pakistan on a United States transport plane, though Boyle refused to board the plane at the last minute.

They said it was heartbreaking to watch their grandsons observing their surroundings while listening to their mother describe how they were made to watch her being "defiled". "It is unbelievable that they have had to shield their sons from their disgusting reality for four years".

Katy Kamkar, psychologist at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, said children exposed to trauma are more likely to experience distressing flashbacks, have trouble concentrating and problems developing trusting relationships. Her father, Ahmed Said Khadr, and the family stayed with Osama bin Laden briefly when Omar Khadr was a boy.

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As well, Coleman was forced to deliver a child by flashlight and without proper medical supervision. Pakistan denies this and says that whenever intelligence is provided to them, they do act on it.

"I kind of wish he would have told me, because I would have said, 'Hey, dummy, what are you doing?"

The Pakistani army said its forces recovered the hostages after acting on USA intelligence about their passage into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Tillerson also thanked Islamabad for its cooperation, adding U.S. President Donald Trump's "new South Asia strategy recognizes the important role Pakistan needs to play" in securing regional stability and ultimate peace. But Ritchie said never to over-estimate a young person's ability to overcome adversity, even at an early age.

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