An American woman who was rescued in October after five years held hostage by a militant group in Afghanistan has reportedly left Canada to return to the US.
Caitlan Coleman returned to her homeland with her three children, who were born while she and her Canadian husband were held in captivity by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, US media reported.
Her husband Joshua Boyle, who is facing allegations of physical and sexual assault stemming from incidents since his return to Canada, did not travel with them, according to ABC News. Mr Boyle, 34, has pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him.
Ms Coleman is petitioning an Ottawa family court to grant her full legal custody of the children and a judge ruled on Monday that she could leave the country pending an outcome to her case, the broadcaster reported.
The 32-year-old, who is reported to be pregnant, did not comment.
Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto in October
Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto in October Credit: AP
“I’m excited that my daughter and her children are finally coming back to the US after all the years of captivity,” Ms Coleman’s father Jim told ABC News.
“The first thing we want to do is to help Caity establish a good and stable home and help her and the kids continue their recovery from captivity.”
Having back-packed through Russia and central Asia to Afghanistan, Ms Coleman and Mr Boyle were captured in 2012 while on a hike in Wardak province, a Taliban stronghold near Kabul. Ms Coleman was pregnant at the time of their kidnap.
The family were rescued nine months ago as militants brought them into Pakistan from Afghanistan, following a tip-off on their location from US intelligence, according to a statement from Pakistan’s army at the time. Ms Coleman said she and her family had spent “more than a year” in Pakistan before their rescue on October 11.
Ms Coleman said shortly after her release that she was a victim of rape and forced abortion while held hostage.
Mr Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadr, a Canadian man who spent 10 years at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in 2002 in a firefight at an Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle and one of his children play outside the Boyle’s family home in Ontario
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle and one of his children play outside the Boyle’s family home in Ontario Credit: AFP
Responding to the questions after his rescue, Mr Boyle said: “I’m a harmless hippie and I do not kill even mice. I’ve been vegetarian for 17 years. Anybody who knows me would laugh at the notion that I went with designs on becoming a combatant.”
Mr Boyle was arrested on New Year’s Eve for multiple charges, including physical and sexual assault of a woman and physical assault of a child.
He was granted bail in June and is receiving psychiatric treatment as he awaits trial.