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Trump: US, Pakistan Govts worked in conjunction to free Stewartstown native from captivity

FILE - This undated militant file image from video posted online in August 2016, which has not been independently verified by The Associated Press, provided by SITE Intel Group, shows Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Officials in Canada are calling for the unconditional release of Boyle and his wife following the release of another video on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, that appears to show them begging for their governments to intervene with their Afghan captors on their behalf. (SITE Intel Group via AP, File)

President Donald Trump has confirmed the United States and Pakistani governments worked in conjunction with one another to free a Stewartstown native, her husband and their three children from a Taliban-linked group's hostage camp last night.


In a statement, the president said:

In 2012, Caitlan Coleman, an American citizen, and her husband, Joshua Boyle, a Canadian citizen, were taken captive and held hostage by the Haqqani network, a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban. Ms. Coleman gave birth to the couple's three children while they were in captivity. 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. This is a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government's cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America's wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region. We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations.

SEE ALSO | Family held captive by Taliban-linked group released

The Pakistani Army has also issued a statement on the release of the Coleman-Boyle Family, saying:

Pak Army and ISI recovered 5 Western hostages including 1 Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from terrorist custody through an intelligence based operation by Pakistan troops and intelligence agencies. They were captured by Terrorists from Afghanistan during 2012 and kept as hostages there. US intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on 11 Oct 2017 through Kurram Agency border. The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities was successful; all hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin. The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan's continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy.

The confirmation of the Boyle-Coleman Family's release comes only hours after President Trump alluded to their release during his speech on tax reform at the Harrisburg International Airport.

During the speech, he said:

Something happened today, where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news," Trump said. "And one of my generals came in. They said, 'You know, I have to tell you, a year ago they would've never done that.' It was a great sign of respect. You'll probably be hearing about it over the next few days. But this is a country that did not respect us. This is a country that respects us now. The world is starting to respect us again, believe me.

SEE ALSO | U.S. woman captured by Taliban in 2012 offers proof she's alive, family pleads for mercy

At the time of the speech, White House officials did not confirm or release any additional details about the specific situation the president may have been referencing.

On Thursday morning, White House officials confirmed Caitlan Coleman, her husband, Joshua Boyle, and their three children born at the camp where they were being held captive by the Haqqani network had been released.

The two were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and have been held by the Haqqani network.

The family's current location, however, was unclear. And officials declined to say when the family planned to return to North America.

The U.S. has criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis.

A U.S. national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for their assistance.


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