Pakistan Army recovers five foreign hostages

Pakistan's army says Canadian man, family rescued from 'terrorist custody'

American hostage Caitlan Coleman, family rescued in Pakistan after years of captivity

-Canadian couple and their three children born in captivity have been freed in Pakistan, almost five years after the couple was abducted in neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistani and USA officials said on Thursday.

The communiqué said that the operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from USA authorities, was successful.

"Today, our Commonwealth and our country give thanks that Caitlan Coleman, Josh Boyle and their children have been released from captivity", he said in a statement.

US officials expressed hope that the hostages' freedom could represent a turning point in relations between Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other Islamist extremists in the region.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been highly critical of Islamabad, praised Pakistan's cooperation with the U.S. government over the freeing of the hostages, saying it represented "a positive moment" for U.S. -Pakistan relations.

"They really and truly believed that if people were loved and treated with respect that that would be given back to them in kind", Linda Boyle, Boyle's mother, told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview. They became close, and Boyle eventually attended his wedding.

A United States military official said American forces were not involved in any rescue, but that a medical team had been able to meet the family and stood ready to fly them home if needed.

He told the paper there had been a shoot-out and that the last words he heard from the kidnappers were "kill the hostages".

The hostages are "safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin", the military statement said, after the rescue in Kurram tribal agency, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal areas along the Afghan border.

Pakistan's Armed Forces said in a statement on Thursday that US intelligences had been tracking the family and their kidnappers as they entered Pakistan from Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The Pakistan Army says it has recovered a Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from "terrorist custody" after receiving intelligence from US officials.

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She was pregnant at the time with her first child.

The United States believed the hostages were probably held by the Haqqani group in or near its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan the entire time, two other US officials said.

Boyle was formerly married to Zaynab Khadr, the older sister of Omar Khadr, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and the son of a prominent Al-Qaeda financier.

The couple had been kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012 and held in Pakistan by a criminal network linked to the Taliban. "We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey", Freeland said.

According to a White House statement also issued on Thursday, Trump said that the United States in cooperation with Pakistan secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan.

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