SMITHS FALLS, Ont. — Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle says he believes he and his wife were targeted for kidnapping because she was visibly pregnant at the time.
Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were freed from captivity by Pakistani commandos earlier this week, five years after they were abducted by the Taliban-linked Haqqani network while travelling in Afghanistan.
Coleman was in her third trimester at the time of their kidnapping, and had four children while in captivity — three of whom survived.
Boyle said in a written statement to The Canadian Press that in the early days after he and his wife were kidnapped, before their eldest son was born, the kidnappers said they hoped to ransom the couple off before the baby’s birth.
He says the kidnappers said they believed the American government would pay to prevent the baby from being born in captivity.
Boyle says that after the children were born, the Haqqani militants who captured them were mainly focused on ransoming Coleman.