Joshua Boyle says Taliban-linked abductors killed infant daughter
Published Friday, October 13, 2017 6:18AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 14, 2017 12:27AM EDT
Joshua Boyle says the Taliban-linked abductors who held his family hostage for five years in Afghanistan killed his infant daughter during their captivity.
Boyle said he and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, now want to build a “secure sanctuary” for their three surviving children, “to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost.”
Boyle said he was in Afghanistan to help poor villagers struggling under Taliban control, in areas “where no NGO, no aid worker, and no government has ever successfully been able to bring the necessary help.”
The Taliban-linked Haqqani network abducted Boyle and Coleman in 2012 while she was heavily pregnant -- the first of many acts showing the terror group’s “stupidity and evil,” Boyle said.
Over the following five years of their captivity, Coleman gave birth to four children, including the daughter their abductors killed, who they named Martyr. Boyle also said Coleman was raped.
“God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani network,” Boyle said.
He spoke to reporters Friday night at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, just hours after the family arrived back in Canada. They flew from Islamabad, Pakistan, with a stopover in London.
The family was seated in business class alongside U.S. State Department officials. Boyle penned a handwritten statement to an Associated Press reporter on the flight and expressed personal disagreement with American foreign policy.
"God has given me and my family unparalleled resilience and determination, and to allow that to stagnate, to pursue personal pleasure or comfort while there is still deliberate and organized injustice in the world would be a betrayal of all I believe, and tantamount to sacrilege," he wrote.
Boyle also gestured to one of the American officials and said, “Their interests are not my interests.”
Boyle and his family are expected to return to his hometown of Smiths Falls, Ont., with his parents.
The family was rescued Wednesday by Pakistani forces in “an intelligence-based operation” after their captors transported them across the border from Afghanistan, Pakistan officials said Thursday.
Moments after the plane landed, the government issued a statement welcoming the family home.
“Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones,” the statement read.
“Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Boyle’s case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that they have returned.”
With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press