Kidnapped US-Canadian family freed in Pakistan

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After being held for more than five years by a group with ties to the Taliban, an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been rescued.

Caitlan Coleman, of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Joshua Boyle, were abducted while travelling in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman gave birth to her three children while in captivity.

US and Pakistani officials said Thursday they were rescued by an “intelligence-based operation by Pakistan troops” after they’d crossed the border from Afghanistan.


Exactly why the couple chose to enter Afghanistan is unclear.

Sarah Flood, a hometown friend of Coleman’s, told the York Daily Record that Afghanistan wasn’t on the couple’s original itinerary. Jim Coleman, Caitlan Coleman’s father, told the newspaper in 2014 that while they were in central Asia, the couple met people who spoke highly of Afghanistan.

A fellow traveller who met the couple in a hostel in Kyrgyzstan wrote on his blog that Boyle had been talking up the idea of travelling to Afghanistan, saying it was a place for true explorers and the window to visit was closing since it would only get less secure once US forces withdrew.