Talibans Raped My Wife, Killed My Baby: Former Canadian Hostage

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children have been released after five years of captivity.

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A still image made from a 2013 video released by the Coleman family shows Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle in a militant video given to the family. 
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Former hostage Joshua Boyle returned to his parents' home in Canada on Saturday where he said full medical exams were being arranged for him and his family after they were rescued from their captors, the Taliban-linked extremist Haqqani network in Afghanistan.

Boyle said earlier at Toronto's airport after landing with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three young children that the network killed their newborn daughter and raped his wife during the five years they were held in captivity.

"The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network's kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorising the murder of my infant daughter," he said.

The couple was rescued on 12 October, five years after they were abducted by the extremist network while in Afghanistan as part of a backpacking trip. Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity. The birth of the fourth child had not been publicly known before Boyle appeared before journalists at the Toronto airport.

Yesterday, the United States government, working in conjunction with the Government of Pakistan, secured the release of the Boyle-Coleman family from captivity in Pakistan. Today they are free.
US President Donald Trump in a statement on 13 October.

Boyle said his wife was raped by a guard who was assisted by his superiors, and he asked the Afghan government to bring them to justice.

God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network.


A Pakistani channel broadcasts a report about the western couple, seen at a local electronic shop in Islamabad, Pakistan.
A Pakistani channel broadcasts a report about the western couple, seen at a local electronic shop in Islamabad, Pakistan.
(Photo: AP)

The family was held by the Haqqani network. US officials call the group a terrorist organisation and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

Officials discounted any link between that background and Boyle's capture, with one official describing it as a "horrible coincidence."

The release came together rapidly on Wednesday. It happened nearly after five years to the day Coleman and Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The couple set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Coleman’s parents last heard from their son-in-law on 8 October 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.

Videos Asking US Govt to Free Them From Taliban

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos asking the US 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.

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

In that interview, Jim Coleman issued a plea to top Taliban commanders to be "kind and merciful" and let the couple go.



 In this 4 June 2014 file photo, from left, Patrick Boyle, Linda Boyle, Lyn Coleman and Jim Coleman hold a photo of their kidnapped children.
In this 4 June 2014 file photo, from left, Patrick Boyle, Linda Boyle, Lyn Coleman and Jim Coleman hold a photo of their kidnapped children.
(Photo: AP)

Trump Praises Move, Calls It Positive for US-Pak Ties

The US has long criticised Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis. In recent remarks on his Afghanistan policy, Trump noted billions paid to Pakistan "at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately."

In his statement Thursday, he described the release as "a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan."

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