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Newly freed family leaves Pakistan for Canada after rescue

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Oct. 13 (UPI) — An American-Canadian family of five held captive by a militant group in Pakistan for five years boarded a flight to Britain Friday, en route to Canada.

After being freed Thursday, American Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their three children — who were all born in captivity — left on a Pakistan International Airlines flight.

The family’s final destination is expected to be Canada, after Boyle declined to board a plane to the United States — over to concerns over his association with a Guantanamo Bay inmate, Pakistan’s Geo News reported.

The Guantanamo detainee, Omar Khadr, is the brother of Boyle’s ex-wife.

Coleman and Boyle were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 while Coleman was pregnant with the couple’s first child. They were held by the Haqqani network, a wealthy and well-connected group associated with the Taliban.

“It’s a blessing that those children have survived and they’re young enough that they can live a normal life,” Boyle’s aunt said of the family’s release.

The Pakistan military said it was alerted to the family’s movement across the Afghan border and surrounded the vehicle, following a car chase.

“We moved the hostages via helicopter to Islamabad. They were then handed over to U.S. authorities,” a spokesman for the Pakistani military said.

“This is a positive moment for our country’s relationship with Pakistan,” President Donald Trump said Thursday. “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.”

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