President Trump lauds Pakistan's efforts in rescuing US-Canadian family

President Trump lauds Pakistan's efforts in rescuing US-Canadian family

On Thursday, U.S. and Pakistani officials announced the release of the couple and the three children they had in captivity, a welcome development in a odd tale that vexed federal investigators for years and became part of the political debate over the U.S. government's obligation to Americans held as hostages overseas.

The Pakistani army said its forces were able to recover the hostages after acting on US intelligence about their passage into Pakistan from Afghanistan.

The statement did not name the family, but Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan 2012.

"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", Trump said. Boyle's parents said he told them by phone he would see them in a couple of days.

The operation came after years of US pressure on Pakistan for assistance.

USA officials expressed hope that the hostages' freedom could represent a turning point in relations between Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other Islamist extremists in the region.

Trump, in a statement, said the release of the hostages indicates Pakistan was acquiescing to "America's wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region".

The family was rescued on Thursday after Pakistani security forces ambushed their captors.

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"So we're waiting for that", his mother, Linda Boyle, said in a video posted on the Toronto Star newspaper's website.

The hostages are "safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin", the military statement said, after the rescue in Kurram tribal agency, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal areas along the Afghan border.

"The last words Boyle said he heard from the kidnappers were, 'kill the hostages, '" the Star reported.

In a statement released on Thursday in Ottawa, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the Canadian government was relieved that the Boyle family was released and thanked the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan for their joint efforts in the rescue mission.

Coleman was pregnant at the time. "We are prepared to bring them back home", the official said. It was revealed Thursday that Coleman had a third child.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis meanwhile praised the release as a positive step in often rocky US-Pakistan ties.

"They were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan in 2012 and kept as hostages there", the ISPR said.

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