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Freed hostage says militants killed his infant daughter and raped his wife

Boyle provided a written statement to The Associated Press saying his family has “unparalleled resilience and determination.”

Joshua Boyle speaks to the media at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Joshua Boyle speaks to the media at Toronto Pearson Airport.
Image: Christopher Katsarov

FORMER HOSTAGE JOSHUA Boyle said upon arriving back in Canada that the Haqqani network in Afghanistan had killed his infant daughter and raped his American wife during the years they were held in captivity.

Boyle gave the statement shortly after landing in Canada late last night with his wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three young children.

The couple was rescued Wednesday, five years after they had been abducted by the Taliban-linked extremist network while in Afghanistan as part of a backpacking trip. Coleman was pregnant at the time and had four children in captivity.

The birth of the fourth child had not been publicly known before Boyle appeared before journalists at the Toronto airport.

“The stupidity and evil of the Haqqani network’s kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorising the murder of my infant daughter,” he said.

Boyle said his wife was raped by a guard who was assisted by his superiors. He asked for the Afghan government to bring them to justice.

“God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network,” he said.

He said he was in Afghanistan to help villagers “who live deep inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where no NGO, no aid worker and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help.”

On the plane from London, Boyle provided a written statement to The Associated Press saying his family has “unparalleled resilience and determination.”

Flight

Coleman nodded wordlessly when she confirmed her identity to a reporter on board the flight. In the two seats next to her were her two elder children. In the seat beyond that was Boyle, with their youngest child in his lap.

US State Department officials were on the plane with them.

The handwritten statement that Boyle gave the AP expressed disagreement with US foreign policy.

“God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination, and to allow that to stagnate, to pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organised injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege,” he wrote.

He nodded to one of the State Department officials and said, “Their interests are not my interests.”

He added that one of his children is in poor health and had to be force-fed by their Pakistani rescuers.

The family was able to leave the plane with their escorts before the rest of the passengers. There was a short delay before everyone else was allowed out.

“It will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home,” he said in his later statement at the airport. “To try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost.”

Dan Boyle, Joshua’s younger brother, said outside the family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, that he had spoken to his brother a few times in the past few days.

“He’s doing very well. He sounds a lot like how he sounded five years ago. He sounds like he had his head on his shoulders and his wits about him,” he said.

The Canadian government said in a statement they will “continue to support him and his family now that they have returned.”

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