US-Canadian family rescued after five leaves for Britain

13 Oct, 2017 2:32 pm

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – A kidnapped US-Canadian couple and their three children who had been freed by the Pakistan Army, nearly five years after the couple was abducted in neighboring Afghanistan, have left for Britain on Friday.

The US-Canadian couple and their children left for Britain on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight 786.

The family were released as part of an operation conducted by Pakistani security forces. Pakistan Army secured their release after receiving intelligence.

The couple, American Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, 33, were kidnapped in 2012 while they were backpacking Afghanistan. Coleman was pregnant when she was kidnapped and the couple had two more children in captivity.

Arrangements had been made for the family to leave Pakistan immediately on a US transport plane, but Boyle had refused to board. A US official said Boyle was concerned that he might face scrutiny by the Americans over his links to Omar Khadr, the Canadian held for 10 years at Guantánamo Bay after being captured as a teenager during a firefight at an al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan. Boyle was briefly married to Zaynab Khadr, Omar’s sister.

The couple – who met as teenagers online and bonded over their love of Star Wars fan sites – were abducted in 2012 during a backpacking trip that began in Russia and took them through Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan before their arrival in northern Afghanistan. Coleman, from Pennsylvania, was pregnant with their first child at the time.

Coleman’s parents said they had last heard from their son-in-law in 2012, after he contacted them from an internet cafe in what he described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos pleading with the US government to free them from the Taliban. Coleman’s parents later told reporters they had received a letter in which their daughter said she had given birth to a second child in captivity.

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