Man kidnapped by Taliban-linked group is “doing pretty well,” father says

WASHINGTON — American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle are free after being kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by a group with ties to the Taliban, according to President Trump and Pakistani officials.

As the couple and their young children come to realize life after captivity, details of the harrowing account are beginning to emerge.

The Toronto Star reports that Boyle spoke to his parents after his release and told them he’d been in the trunk of the kidnappers’ car with his wife and children when Pakistani forces rescued them. He told the paper there was a shoot-out and that the last words he heard from the kidnappers were, “kill the hostages.”

The paper writes that all five kidnappers were shot dead and that Boyle was injured by shrapnel.

“Josh said he was doing pretty well for someone who has spent the last five years in an underground prison,” his father, Patrick, told the paper.

CBS News’ David Martin reports that U.S. officials could not confirm the account that Boyle described to the Toronto Star.

Framegrab from an undated video shows Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle held in captivity.

Courtesy of the Coleman Family

White House Chief of State John Kelly described the conditions the family lived in as “nightmarish conditions,” Martin reports.

“They were essentially living in a hole for five years,” Kelly said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. sent a C-130 transport plane to Pakistan to get the family out of the country, but Boyle declined to board, a White House official tells CBS News’ David Martin. Boyle’s family called him and tried to persuade him to board the plane but were unsuccessful, reports CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. 

As of Thursday midday, the family’s precise whereabouts were unclear, and it was not immediately known when they would return to North America. The family was not in U.S. custody, though they were together in a safe,…

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