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Former Taliban Hostage Freed In Pakistan Faces Assault Charges In Canada


Former hostage Joshua Boyle (center) with his American wife Caitlan Coleman (left) and their sons as seen in a Taliban video

A Canadian man recently rescued in Pakistan with his American wife and children after five years of captivity by the Taliban has been arrested and faces assault charges in Canada, his lawyer says.

In a 15-count indictment, Ottawa police have charged Joshua Boyle, 34, with eight counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of forcible confinement, and one count of uttering death threats.

A publication ban has been imposed, preventing the alleged victims from being identified.

A hearing on Boyle's case is scheduled for January 3 in Ottawa, the Canadian capital. His lawyer, Eric Granger, said on January 2 that Boyle was in custody, though he had never been in trouble with the law before and was innocent of the charges.

Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman, and their three children were rescued last year in Pakistan, five years after the couple was abducted by a Taliban-linked militant group while on a backpacking trip in neighboring Afghanistan. The children were born in captivity.

Pakistan said its troops rescued the family on October 11 from their captors, the Taliban-linked Haqqani group, after they had been moved across the border from Afghanistan.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the operation was based on a tip from U.S. intelligence.

U.S. officials gave a different account of the family's captivity and rescue, saying the family spent almost all of their five-year confinement in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan.

The parents of Caitlan Coleman, who is from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, said after the rescue that they were elated she had been freed, but they also expressed anger at their son-in law for taking their daughter to Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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