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ISLAMABAD — An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.
U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pa., and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network in Pakistan.
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Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity, and all have been freed, U.S. officials say.
US - Security - Official - Condition - Anonymity
A U.S. national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for their critical assistance in securing the family's release — and described the cooperation as an important step in the right direction for U.S.-Pakistani relations.
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.
Pakistan - Statement - US - Intelligence - Agencies
In Pakistan, its military said in a statement that U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and discovered they had come into Pakistan on Oct. 11 through its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.
"All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin," the military said.
Pakistani - Officials - Condition - Anonymity - Journalists
Three Pakistani military officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren't allowed to speak to journalists, also confirmed the hostages' identities.
The release, which came together rapidly Wednesday, comes nearly five years to the day since Coleman and Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.
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