Pakistan rescues North American family kidnapped from Afghanistan

A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media

The operation came after years of USA pressure on Pakistan for assistance. Their three children were born during their time in captivity.

Another military official told AFP the couple was hesitating to board a United States military jet in Pakistan over the Canadian husband's concerns he could face American scrutiny for links to a former Guantanamo captive. This is a positive moment for our country's relationship with Pakistan.

"So we're waiting for that", his mother, Linda Boyle, said in a video posted on the Toronto Star newspaper's website. The AP reported in June 2014 about the existence of videos received by Coleman's father in which the couple - Coleman, in a conservative black garment and Boyle with a long, untrimmed beard - implored the USA government to help free them.

A friend of Boyle's who asked to be identified by his first name, Greg, said he met the intensely private Boyle about 15 years ago playing an online Star Wars game.

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They would appear sporadically in videos from the Haqqani network over the years, saying their captors had threatened to kill them if the Afghan government would not stop executing Taliban prisoners.

The rescue came as Pakistan and the United States, uneasy allies in fighting Taliban and other militant groups in the region, are experiencing one of the worst lows in relations.

Associated Press said U.S. intelligence told Pakistan on Wednesday the hostages had been moved into north- western Pakistan, according to a statement from the Pakistan military.

Pakistan's Armed Forces said in a statement on Thursday that US intelligences had been tracking the family and their kidnappers as they entered Pakistan from Afghanistan on Wednesday. "We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey", Freeland said.

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Ms Coleman, 32, was seven months pregnant when she and her Canadian husband, Josh Boyle, 34, were abducted in Afghanistan 2012 and held by the Haqqani network - a group with ties to the Taliban. It was revealed Thursday that Coleman had a third child.

Tillerson in a statement said Trump's strategy in the region recognised "the important role Pakistan needs to play to bring stability and ultimately peace to the region".

Pakistan's military on Thursday recovered five foreign hostages captured from Afghanistan in 2012.

Agents from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) spy-agency and army soldiers attempted to intercept the vehicle, but it sped away and was chased into a district in northwest Pakistan, according to the security source.

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