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Canadian Says Child Killed, U.S. Wife Raped In Afghanistan During Kidnapping

Canadian Says Child Killed, U.S. Wife Raped During Kidnapping Ordeal
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Canadian says child killed, U.S. wife raped during kidnapping ordeal

A U.S.-Canadian couple freed in Pakistan this week after almost five years in captivity in Afghanistan has returned to Canada where the husband said one of his children had been murdered and his wife had been raped.

American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network. They arrived in Canada with three of their children.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the Pakistani special forces that rescued the family on October 11 acted on a tip from U.S. intelligence, showing that Islamabad will act against a "common enemy" when Washington shares information.

U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of ignoring the presence of the Haqqani network and other extremist groups within its borders.

Reading from a statement upon arrival in Toronto late on October 13, Boyle said, "The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani network in the kidnapping of a pilgrim...was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter."

Boyle said his wife was raped by a guard who was assisted by his superiors. He asked for the Afghan government to bring them to justice.

"God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network," he said.

Boyle did not elaborate on what he meant by "pilgrim," or on the murder or rape. His wife was not at the news conference.

On October 12, President Donald Trump, who previously warned Pakistan to stop harboring militants, praised Islamabad for acting on the U.S. intelligence tip and showing its willingness to "do more to provide security in the region."

The United States has designated the Haqqani network a terrorist organization and has targeted it with drone strikes.

The Haqqani group had previously demanded the release of Anas Haqqani, a son of the founder of the group, in exchange for turning over the American-Canadian family.

U.S. officials say several other Americans are being held by militant groups in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

They include Kevin King, 60, a teacher at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul who was abducted in August 2016, and Paul Overby, an author in his 70s who disappeared in eastern Afghanistan in mid-2014.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters