A North American family that had been held hostage by the Afghan Taliban has been freed following an operation in Pakistan, the Pakistani military said yesterday.
The hostages are "safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin", the army said in a statement, after the rescue in Kurram district, part of the semi-autonomous tribal belt along the Afghan border.
"Pak Army recovered 5 Western hostages including 1 Canadian, his US National wife and their three children from terrorist custody", it said of the operation, which was launched after Pakistani authorities received intelligence from US officials.
It did not name the family, but Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped by the Afghan Taliban during a backpacking trip in Afghanistan 2012, and are believed to have had at least two children while in captivity.
Pakistan officials provided no details about the operation.
"We welcome media reports that a family including US citizens has been released from captivity," a US embassy spokesman in Islamabad told AFP, without confirming the identity of the released hostages.
Pakistan has been under increased pressure from Washington to crack down on alleged militant sanctuaries inside its borders after US President Donald Trump lambasted the country in a televised address in August.
During the speech, Trump accused Islamabad of sheltering "agents of chaos" and suggested ties with Pakistan would be adjusted immediately but offered few details.