State Department evaluating Taliban video showing captured couple in Afghanistan

State Department evaluating Taliban video showing captured couple in Afghanistan

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The video appears to show American Caitlan Coleman and Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were kidnapped while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in 2012, calling on Canada and the U.S. to pressure Kabul into changing its policy on executing captured Taliban prisoners.

WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – The U.S. State Department is evaluating a video released by the Taliban showing a married American woman and Canadian man saying that their Taliban captors will kill them and their children unless the government of Afghanistan halts the execution of Taliban prisoners.

“We’re aware of recent reports that a video featuring U.S. hostage Caitlan Coleman and her husband Joshua Boyle has been released,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby said during a regular press conference Tuesday.

“I would tell you that the video is still being examined for its validity. We remain concerned, obviously, about the welfare of Caitlan and her family, and we continue to urge for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds.”

The video appears to show American Caitlan Coleman and Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were kidnapped while on a backpacking trip in Afghanistan in 2012, calling on Canada and the U.S. to pressure Kabul into changing its policy on executing captured Taliban prisoners.

“They will execute us, women and children included, if the policies of the Afghan government are not overturned either by the Afghan government or by Canada somehow, or United States,” Boyle says in the video.

Coleman was pregnant at the time of the couple’s capture, and in November her parents received a letter telling saying that she’d given birth to a second child while held in captivity.

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos asking the U.S. government to free them from the Taliban.

In July, Jim Coleman, the father of Caitlan, issued a plea to top Taliban commanders to be “kind and merciful” and let the couple go during an interview with Circa News.

“As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our beautiful grandchildren,” Jim Coleman said. “Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us, and bring peace to their families.”

The couple was kidnapped during a six-month backpacking trip that took them through Russia, Central Asia and ended in Afghanistan.

Unlike ISIS, the Taliban and al Qaeda do not often kill their hostages when demands are not met, SITE Intelligence director Rita Katz said in a Tweet after the video of the couple surfaced.

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