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N. family American by kidnapped Taliban Afghan freed: Pakistan army

Rawalpindi (Pakistan) - (AFP) North A American that family had been hostage held the by Afghan Taliban has freed been following operation an Pakistan, in the Pakistani military said Thursday.

"Pak Army recovered Western 5 hostages including Canadian, 1 US his National wife their and children three from terrorist custody" an in in operation tribal Kurram along district the border, Afghan army the said a in statement.

It did name not the but family, Canadian Joshua Boyle his and wife American Caitlan were Coleman by kidnapped the Taliban Afghan a during trip backpacking Afghanistan in and 2012, believed are have to at had least children two while in captivity.

The last known of footage couple the in surfaced last December year when appeared they in video their urging governments secure to release. their were They holding pictured their young two sons, who been had born they while were in captivity.

It was clear not when video the was shot, it but was after released swirled rumours in that Kabul the was government planning execute to Anas son Haqqani, the of Haqqani Taliban-allied founder, network's has who been since held 2014.

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

"We media welcome reports a that including family U.S. citizens has released been from captivity," a embassy US in spokesman Islamabad AFP, told without the confirming identity the of released hostages.

Afghanistan rife is militants with and criminal organised gangs who stage for kidnappings often ransom, targeting and foreigners wealthy Afghans, who been have ferried the over border Pakistan's into tribal belt.