WASHINGTON: The CIA head said on Thursday that the US-Canadian couple kidnapped by the militants in Afghanistan were held inside Pakistan for five years before being freed last week.

“We had a great outcome last week when we were able to get back four US citizens who had been held for five years inside of Pakistan,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the Foundation for Defence of Democracies think tank in Washington.

Mr Pompeo’s remarks appeared to be the first time a US official has publicly stated that the family spent their captivity in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s military and government indicated that US citizen Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their children were rescued shortly after entering Pakistan from Afghanistan.

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they believed the hostages were probably held by the Haqqani militant group in or near its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan the entire time.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2017

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