Family Kidnapped in 2012 Finally Get Rescued


Finn Hogan, Contributing Editor

On October 11th, Pakistani troops escorted a family across the borders into Pakistan to safety. This family had been held captive by an organization linked to the Taliban since 2012.

According to the BBC, Joshua Boyle and his wife Caitlin Coleman were taken captive by the Taliban while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman had reportedly been pregnant when they were taken. She gave birth to three children while in captivity. The couple had videos taken of them in captivity, the most recent one being released in December 2016. In the video, Coleman, who was pregnant at the time, was begging the world for an end to what she called ‘Kafkaesque nightmare’.

Major General Asif Ghafoor spoke to NBC reporters on the rescue.

“The vehicle was immobilized with sharp shooting. We destroyed their tires. The hostages remained inside the vehicle. The driver, and an accomplice, managed to escape to a nearby refugee camp… We moved the hostages via helicopter to Islamabad. They were then handed over to U.S. authorities.”

The family was reportedly being transported in the trunk of the vehicle. They managed to escape the gunfire unharmed, other than Boyle getting a mild injury to his leg.

The couple’s families are ecstatic that they are freed. Joshua Boyle’s parents, Patrick and Linda Boyle, had told CNN that they had spoken to Josh and the family was in good health. They are both excited to meet their grandchildren for the first time.

Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lynda Coleman, were just as thankful as the Boyle’s that their daughter was safe; “It was a quick conversation. She mostly said that she, Josh, and the children were okay. And that they’re looking forward to freedom. We didn’t push her on any details, just happy to know they’re safe.”

The U.S. army had a C-130 on standby to fly out to Pakistan and pick up the family. Though their reasoning is unknown, the family refused the rescue from the U.S. and went to the U.K. on October 13th.