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Pakistan rescues North American family of five from 'terrorists'

12 October 2017

The Taliban has released an American hostage along with her Canadian husband and their three children, a US official and the Pakistani military said Thursday.

Coleman was pregnant at the time.

A Canadian man, Joshua Boyle, his wife and their three children have been rescued after spending five years in captivity held by the Taliban.

The Pakistani statement said the family had been held in Afghanistan but that "U.S. intelligence agencies has been tracking them" and shared that they had crossed the border on Wednesday.

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Trump did not disclose what country or any details involved but said "one of my generals came in and they said, you know, I have to tell you, a year ago they would have never done that".

The recovered hostages "are being repatriated to their country of origin", the ISPR said.

The family was being held by the Haqqani network. In December the commander of United States forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, said the Haqqani Network held a total of five American hostages. The insurgents had been demanding release of their prisoners in exchange for the two hostages who gave birth to the three children while in captivity.

The U.S. has long criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis, who have been behind many attacks against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan. USA officials call the group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes.

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Trump has made getting tougher with Pakistan in an effort to get them to crack-down on the Taliban a central tenant of his recently announced strategy for Afghanistan and the wider region.

The families were soon told privately by Afghan officials that Anas Haqqani had been spared execution but that his release was politically impossible, US and Afghan officials told ABC News earlier this year.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress last week Pakistan would no longer be a sanctuary for terrorism.

In August 2016, the Haqqani Taliban snatched two professors from American University of Kabul, one American and one Australian, in retaliation for Anas Haqqani's death sentence.

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Pakistan rescues North American family of five from 'terrorists'