Senior Taliban figures confirmed on Tuesday they had released a new video showing a kidnapped American-Canadian family, including two young boys born in captivity while held by the feared Haqqani network.
The video showed for the first time the two sons of Canadian Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman, a US citizen. Coleman, 31, was pregnant when the couple were abducted in 2012 inside Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip.
A Canadian spokesman said the government was reviewing the video, while US officials would not immediately comment.
In the video, Coleman begs for an end to their “Kafkaesque nightmare” and is critical of both the American and Canadian governments and the family’s Haqqani captors.
“We understand both sides hate us and are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems,” she said.
“But we can only ask and pray that somebody will recognise the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy.” The two young boys — who, along with their parents, appeared healthy — fidgeted on their father’s lap as Coleman added: “My children have seen their mother defiled.” Two senior Taliban figures based in Afghanistan told Reuters by telephone that the video had been uploaded by the radical Islamist insurgents, who are fighting to topple the US-backed government in Kabul.
One said the video came from the Haqqani network — a close affiliate of the Afghan Taliban — and it had been delivered to both US and Canadian officials before being posted on YouTube late on Monday night.