Family held hostage by Taliban rescued after 5 years

Family held hostage by Taliban rescued after 5 years

Coleman, 32, who was pregnant at the time, and her Canadian husband Josh Boyle were abducted while they were hiking in Afghanistan during the summer of 2012.

The exchange was a secret operation to bring them home after one of the longest - and strangest - American hostage ordeals in recent history, counterterrorism officials told ABC News.

The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from U.S. authorities was successful; all hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin.

"US intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on October 11, 2017, through the Kurram Agency border", the ISPR said.

Coleman and her husband had been held for five years and one day, according to the US official.

The Haqqani network has been accused of masterminding several high-profile terrorist attacks in the Afghan capital and have been known to kidnap Western hostages and smuggle them across the border into Pakistan.

Boyle, 34, and Coleman, 31, were kidnapped by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in October 2012. It's unclear whether they knew she'd had a third. A video released by the Taliban a year ago had showed the family, including two young boys. The couple had three children while in captivity.

"I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing", the letter said.

"As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our handsome grandchildren", Jim Coleman said.

United States intelligence officials believed the couple was being held by the Haqqani Network, a branch of the Taliban believed to be responsible for some of the group's most violent and sophisticated attacks.