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  • Pakistan, October 11, 2017

    An American woman, Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her Canadian husband, Josh Boyle 34, who were held hostage by militants in Afghanistan for five years have been freed along with their young children who were born in captivity. The Pakistani military, which took custody of the family from the Haqqani network, the Taliban faction, Pakistani troops and intelligence agents, acting on a U.S. intelligence tip, located the vechicle in which the militants were moving the family from Afghanistan into the Kurram tribal agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) about 60Km/37 miles inside Pakistan. Pakistani official said that as the kidnappers attempted to flee, agents shot the tires of the vechicle forcing it to stop. The militants escaped abandoning the family unharmed in the vechicle. However according to American official the Pakistani intelligence service arranged the handover of the family after being pressured by American officials. It was not clear if any, concessions were made to the Haqqani network to ensure the family’s release. Previously, the Haqqani network had demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, one of its commanders, in exchange for the family’s freedom. The Afghan government captured Haqqani in 2014, and he was sentenced to death. The militant group had threatened to kill the family if he was executed. The couple was kidnapped in October 2012 while backpacking in Wardak Province, a militant stronghold near Kabul. At the time of her abduction, Coleman, was pregnant, and later gave birth. She had two more children in captivity. The couple traveled to Afghanistan as Boyle had a deep interest in the subject of terrorism and was previously married to the oldest sister of Omar Khadr, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Khadr, a Canadian, was 15 when he arrived at the prison and was repatriated in 2012. (nytimes.com, 12 October 2017 & reuters.com 13 October 2017)

  • Afghanistan, February 07, 2017

    According to media reports a Western couple kidnapped by the Taliban could have been freed if their family had been allowed to pay a US$150,000. Canadian Joshua Boyle, 33, from Toronto, and his American wife Caitlan Coleman, 31, from Pennsylvania, were taken hostage while travelling in northern Afghanistan in 2012. In December last year they appeared in a chilling new video alongside their two children, believed to be aged four and two, who were born in captivity. According to a report by Vox, a Taliban representative told US military negotiators they would free the Coleman family in exchange for a ransom of $150,000. The military handed the details to the FBI – which oversees foreign kidnapping cases involving US citizens - but the agency never followed on it. In the latest video, the couple begged for their governments to intervene on their behalf. Coleman - sitting with her two young children - urged them to reach a deal to secure the family's freedom. (dailymail.co.uk, 7 February 2017)

  • Afghanistan, December 20, 2016

    The Taliban Haqqani network released a new video showing a kidnapped American-Canadian couple, and for the firs time, their two young boys who were born in captivity. The video showed for the first time the two sons of Canadian Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman, a U.S. citizen. Coleman, 31, was pregnant when the couple was abducted in 2012 inside Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip. In the video, Coleman begs for an end to their "Kafkaesque nightmare" and is critical of both the American and Canadian governments and the family's Haqqani captors. (reuters.com, 20 December 2016)

  • Afghanistan, August 31, 2016

    In a new video clip, a Canadian woman, who has been a captive of the Taliban since 2012, called on the United States to pressure Afghanistan to halt executions of its Taliban prisoners. Otherwise, she, her husband and their two children will be executed. Caitlan Coleman, 30, of Stewartstown, and her husband, 33-year-old Canadian Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. According to previous reports, the woman was pregnant at the time of the kidnapping; Coleman told her family in previous video releases that she has now given birth twice in captivity. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters that the video was not new and had in fact been recorded in 2015. He said that the couple and their two children remain in captivity but in good health. It was the first time the couple has appeared in a video since 2013. (ancasteronline.com, 31 August 2016)

  • Afghanistan, October 10, 2012

    Two foreign nationals--a man and a woman -- were kidnapped by armed insurgents on their way from southern Ghazni province to the central capital Kabul. The two were traveling in a car that went missing in the Shashgaw area on the Kabul-Ghazni highway. According to local resident, the victims were an American woman and a Canadian man who were kidnapped by Taliban militants between Shashgaw and Salar areas of Syedabad district in the Maidan Wardak province. A Taliban commander in Syedabad confirmed the abduction but refused to give details. (pajhwok.com, 11 October 2012)