An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children were rescued on Wednesday after five years in captivity with the Taliban.
Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her husband, Joshua Boyle, 34, were abducted while hiking in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province in 2012.
They were rescued in an exchange between Pakistani military and U.S. commandos on Wednesday in a secret operation.
According to counterterrorism officials, U.S. special operations forces had considered a raid to rescue the family, but the family was moved to another location before being rescued.
"They're in Pakistan and they are safe," an official told ABC News.
"We should all celebrate that they are out of the hands of the Taliban. We have secured their release," the official said.
In a video filmed by the captors and sent to the Coleman families last January, the film shows the couple’s 4-year-old son sitting on his father’s lap. Caitlan is shown with their second child, still an infant at the time. Since the video, a third child has been born.
Boyle says in the video that the conditions of their captivity had improved.
Caitlan added: “I would also like to say to my father specifically, that I think you would like to know that my time in—married, and my time as a mother, and my time in prison that I’ve become more of a Belle than an Ariel.”
Also Wednesday, President Donald Trump made a mention to the rescue when he spoke to a crowd in Pennsylvania.
"America is being respected again. Something happened today, where a country that totally disrespected us called with some very, very important news,” Trump said. “And one of my generals came in, they said, 'You know, I have to tell you, a year ago they would've never done that.' It was a great sign of respect. You'll probably be hearing about it over the next few days. But this is a country that did not respect us. This is a country that respects us now. The world is starting to respect us again, believe me.”
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/cyano66
Publication date: October 12, 2017