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The Latest: Pennsylvania town delights in couple's release

By The Associated Press
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ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Latest on the release of an American woman, her husband and their three children after being held for years by a group with ties to the Taliban (all times local):

1:53 p.m.

The parents of Caitlan Coleman are elated at the release of their daughter, her husband and their children. Jim and Lyn Coleman have placed a note on the door of their home in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. It says they appreciate "all the interest and concern being expressed at the joyful news that Caity, Josh and our grandchildren have been released after five long years of captivity."

They also ask people to respect their privacy and not knock on their door.

American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and held by the militant Haqqani network. The couple had three children while in captivity.

U.S. officials say Pakistan secured their release.

____

9:45 p.m.

A small Pennsylvania town is rejoicing over news that a young woman and her family have been released after being held captive for years by a Taliban-linked group.

U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, and their three children, who were born in captivity.

Neighbors of Coleman's parents say they can't imagine how thrilled the couple must be about meeting their grandchildren.

Family members remain inside the house in rural Stewartstown, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Baltimore, where Coleman grew up.

Neighbor Karen Nycum says it must have been hard for her parents "maintaining that hope."

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9 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Pakistan's release of an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children is a sign that "a lot of countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again."

U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network. Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity, and U.S. officials say all have been freed.

Trump praises Pakistan for its willingness to "do more to provide security in the region." He says the release suggests other "countries are starting to respect the United States of America once again."

___

8:35 p.m.

Canada's foreign minister says her government is greatly relieved to learn that after five years of being held hostage, Canadian Joshua Boyle and family have been released and are safe.

Chrystia Freeland says Canada has been engaged with the governments of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and she's thanking those countries for helping with the release.

The operation was taking place as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Washington meeting with President Trump on Wednesday, and the two leaders had discussed it.

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7:45 p.m.

An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children — just released in Pakistan — aren't yet in U.S. custody. They are in what a U.S. national security official says is a safe but undisclosed location in Pakistan.

The family — an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children — were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and held by the militant Haqqani network.

The official says the family is free, but the husband didn't want to board a U.S. transport plane. The official wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

—Associated Press writer Jill Colvin

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6:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is praising the release of a family long held by a group with ties to the Taliban. Trump calls Thursday's development a "positive moment" for U.S. relations with Pakistan.

He says in a statement that the Pakistani government's "cooperation is a sign that it is honoring America's wishes for it to do more to provide security in the region."

Trump says the U.S. hopes "to see this type of cooperation and teamwork in helping secure the release of remaining hostages and in our future joint counterterrorism operations."

U.S. and Pakistani officials say an American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held by the Haqqani network in Pakistan.

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5:20 p.m.

Pakistan's military says soldiers have recovered five Western hostages held by the Taliban for years.

Pakistan's army did not name those held, only saying it worked with U.S. intelligence officials to track down the hostages and free them after discovering they had been brought into Pakistan.

However, two army officials who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday identified the hostages as Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman and their children who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information.

Caitlan Coleman had told her family she gave birth to two children in captivity.

—Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News
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