Ex-hostages back in Canada after harrowing raid to free them

Pakistan       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published

Before marrying Coleman, Boyle was briefly married in 2009 to Zaynab Khadr, the sister of Canadian-born Omar Khadr, who was captured in battle as a teenager in Afghanistan in 2002 and held for a decade in the United States military at Guantanamo Bay.

A Taliban spokesman has rejected as "false and propaganda" the allegations of rescued Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle that his child was murdered and his wife raped during his captivity in Afghanistan.

A family held hostage by Taliban-linked extremist Haqqani network in Afghanistan has returned to Canada where they will undergo full medical exams.

Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, on Thursday told Reuters that the USA military had been ready to fly the family out of the country after they were freed but said Boyle, who is Canadian, had refused to board the aircraft.

A senior Pakistani security source on Friday detailed how the family, who were expected to leave Pakistan on Friday, were freed following a vehicle chase in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Their eventual rescue was carried out by Pakistani forces on a tip from United States intelligence.

"No one has ever killed a child of this couple, and nobody has ever raped or defiled".

Canadian, who were taken hostage by the Taliban, said the militants killed his baby and raped his wife.

The Haqqani group is headed by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is also the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

'The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network's kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorising the murder of my infant daughter'.

On the plane from London, Boyle provided a written statement to The Associated Press saying his family has "unparalleled resilience and determination".

"Taking your pregnant wife to a very risky place, to me, and the kind of person I am, it's unconscionable", Jim Coleman told ABC News' "Good Morning America".

"What can I say - to take his pregnant wife to a very unsafe place for me and people like me, seems unreasonable".

Boyle said one of his children is suffering from health issues and needed to be force-fed by rescuers.

The Canadian, his wife and their children were intercepted by Pakistani forces while being transported in the back of their captors' auto. They used a bucket, ' Boyle said in the video.

A senior official had said Boyle refused to board an American military plane on Thursday over concerns he could face arrest.

Speaking in Toronto, he said: 'I assure you I have never refused to board any mode of transportation that would bring me closer to home, closer to Canada and back with my family.

"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.



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