Canada The strange tale of a family freed from Afghanistan

20:37  12 october  2017
20:37  12 october  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

Bomb kills four Pakistani troops searching for kidnappers

  Bomb kills four Pakistani troops searching for kidnappers Bomb kills four Pakistani troops searching for kidnappersThe incident happened near the Kharlachi checkpoint in Kurram district in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

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In this June 4, 2014 file photo, mother's Linda Boyle, left, and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their married children, Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, in Stewartstown, Pa. © Bill Gorman, AP In this June 4, 2014 file photo, mother's Linda Boyle, left, and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their married children, Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, in Stewartstown, Pa.

They met online in 2011 and shared a passion for Star Wars. They both had wanderlust in their hearts, which took to them the steps of Central Asia in 2012 — and landed them in captivity for five years. 

Here is a look at American Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were freed by a network with ties to the Taliban, according to U.S. and Pakistani authorities on Thursday.

Who is Caitlan Coleman? 

Coleman grew up in Stewartstown, Pa., a tiny borough in York County with about 2,000 people. She was known as a devout Catholic and a woman with a good soul. Friends would recall her countless acts of generosity from the big things (raising money for the poor in Haiti) to the small (always remembering to send thank-you notes.)      

Family freed from terrorist captivity begins journey of recovery

  Family freed from terrorist captivity begins journey of recovery Joshua Boyle said the gravity of the situation his family survived is starting to sink in. Now that he, his wife, Caitlan Coleman, and their three children are safe, he's beginning to realize the impact five years in captivity had on his family. "We're pretty broken and we didn't expect this," Boyle told CNN's Paula Newton on Sunday.Boyle and Coleman were kidnapped in Afghanistan by terrorists from the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network in 2012. Coleman was pregnant at the time of their kidnapping, and all their children were born in captivity.

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Why was she on this trip?

Coleman was also someone bitten by the travel bug. She was seven months pregnant when she told friends and family about her next adventure in 2012: a trip to Central Asia, perhaps Kazahkstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikstan where she and her husband could dip into life with the locals and help out aid groups. Caitlan's mother told The Philadelphia News that Afghanistan was not part of the plan. "They promised us they wouldn't go," Lyn Coleman said.

More: After 5 years, family kidnapped by terrorists in Afghanistan now free

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Who is Joshua Boyle?

Boyle is a Canadian who met Coleman on the Internet where they bonded over Star Wars. The couple married in 2011. Boyle attended a Mennonite school as a child and graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2005. Friends describe a pacifist who felt a calling to do humanitarian work — sometimes in dangerous locales. 

Canadian man and family held captive for years in Afghanistan reportedly en route to London

  Canadian man and family held captive for years in Afghanistan reportedly en route to London Freed after years of captivity in Afghanistan, Canadian Joshua Boyle and his family have left Pakistan and their flight is expected to land at London's Heathrow Airport on Friday, according to the BBC. They left Islamabad earlier in the day and are expected to arrive in London shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time. It is not known if they will remain in the U.K. or board a second flight.Pakistani officials confirmed the family had left the country. Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were abducted five years ago while travelling in Afghanistan and were being held by the Haqqani network.

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 Is Boyle's earlier life connected with the abduction?

Boyle had a self-described intrigue over  terrorism. “Anything related to terrorism on Wikipedia, I wrote, pretty much,” he told the Globe and Mail in 2009. He also developed an interest in Omar Khadr, a Canadian captured in Afghanistan who was held at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to 2012. He married Khadr's sister in 2009, and some colleagues thought he was considering becoming a Muslim. The FBI  has said there is no connection with Boyle's earlier life and the family's abduction.

Where were they kidnapped?

The couple, who had been in Central Asia for several months, were taken hostage in October 2012 in Wardak province, a Taliban stronghold near the Pakistani border. Coleman had three children while in captivity; Boyle even claimed to have delivered one son by flashlight. Coleman’s parents last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an Internet cafe in what Boyle described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan. The family was being held by the Haqqani network, a group called a terrorist organization by the U.S., but one that does not normally execute Western hostages — preferring cash ransoms.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Miller on Twitter @susmiller

       

Freed hostage Joshua Boyle says children adapting to '1st true home' .
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle says his three children are quickly adapting as the family spends their first full day in Canada, after five excruciating years being held captive in Afghanistan, Boyle tells CBC's Susan Ormiston."We have reached the first true home that the children have ever known after they spent most of Friday asking if each subsequent airport was our new house hopefully," Boyle told CBC, after a day of travel that included flights to London and then Toronto.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-49181-the-strange-tale-of-a-family-freed-from-afghanistan/

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