WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump announced Thursday that US and Pakistani officials had secured the release of a American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children from Taliban captivity. He praised the Pakistani government and armed forces for the cooperation to rescue the family in an operation.
The US leader identified the kidnapped couple as Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, and said their release was a "positive moment" for US relations with Pakistan.
"Ms Coleman gave birth to the couple s three children while they were in captivity," Trump said, in a White House statement. "Today, they are free."
Trump said that the family had been held hostage by the Haqqani network, "a terrorist organization with ties to the Taliban."
Photo: US-Canadian couple with their children after being rescued by Pakistani forces
"This is a positive moment for our country s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region. We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations," said statement from White House.
Earlier, the Pakistani military had said that the hostages had been rescued in the Kurram district of the semi-autonomous tribal belt on Pakistan s Afghan border.
Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban during a 2012 backpacking trip to war-torn Afghanistan, and they appeared in a hostage video in December last year pleading for their release.
"This is a positive moment for our country s relationship with Pakistan. The Pakistani government s cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America s wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region," Trump said.
"We hope to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations."
On the other hand, US Defence Minister Rex Tillerson also thanked Pakistan for their efforts and cooperation with US government to rescue the family. US ambassador and his team made it possible to recover the US family, he added.
He said the US administration is thankful to Pakistani government and army, and such cooperation will continue.