Family held hostage in Afghanistan set to undergo medical exams in Canada

16 October, 2017, 00:11 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Pakistan       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published

Boyle and his wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children were rescued Wednesday, five years after being abducted while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan.

"We categorically reject these false allegations and manufactured on the part of the hostage canada in the hands of the enemy", he says.

In a message sent later to Canadian media from his parents' home town of Smith Falls, around 80 km (50 miles) from Ottawa, the 34-year-old said the family had safely arrived in the first real "home" his children had ever known.

He added that he doesn't understand why Boyle refused to board an American plane following the family's rescue by Pakistani soldiers.

Boyle's father, Patrick, said his son told him in a phone call after his release that the abuse his wife suffered during captivity was far worse than alluded to in "proof of life" videos the militants previously released of the family.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the hostages included a Canadian, his American wife, and their three children which were recovered "through an intelligence-based operation by Pakistani troops". Boyle told his parents that he, his wife and their children were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the back or trunk of their captors' auto and that some of his captors were killed.

"Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family to build a secure sanctuary to call a home, to focus on edification and to regain some portion of the childhood they have lost", he said. U.S. State Department officials accompanied them.


A second Pakistani security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said United States drones had been circling the town of Kohat, on the edge of the tribal areas on Wednesday, suggesting U.S. co-operation included sophisticated surveillance inside Pakistan.

The Canadian government welcomed the family's arrival and has appealed for the family's privacy to be respected.

The Haqqani group is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader. The team did a preliminary health assessment and had a transport plane ready to go, but sometime after daybreak Thursday, as the family members were walking to the plane, Boyle said he did not want to board, the official said.

Patrick Boyle said the sudden turn of events was nothing short of miraculous. She was the daughter of a senior al Qaeda financier and friend of Osama bin Laden.

Officials have dismissed any link between his previous marriage and the family's capture, with one official describing it in 2014 as a 'horrible coincidence'. In one of the videos released by their captors, Boyle implored the Afghan government not to execute Taliban prisoners, or he and his wife would be killed.

"Coleman and Boyle are not charged with any federal crime and, as such, we do not seek their arrest", spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said.

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