US mom details brutality at hands of Taliban faction

2017-11-21 08:57
Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle missing in Afghanistan in late 2012. (Coleman Family, AP)

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle missing in Afghanistan in late 2012. (Coleman Family, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - A US mother held hostage by Taliban-linked militants for five years has detailed the violence and sexual assault she endured in captivity, and said her young son was also beaten.

"This was an intolerable situation for a child to be in," said Caitlan Coleman Boyle, 31.

Boyle gave birth to three children in captivity. She and her Canadian husband were abducted by the Haqqani network while travelling through a remote area of Afghanistan - for reasons that remain unclear - in 2012.

Very violent

The family were released last month in Pakistan in circumstances that are also unclear and are now trying to rebuild their lives in Canada.

Pakistan's military has said it rescued the family while some US and Canadian officials have reportedly described their release as a "negotiated handover".

Boyle said their guards "could be very violent, even sometimes with the children," assaulting their now four-year-old son with a stick and hitting her and her husband.

"I would get beaten or hit or thrown on the ground," she said. She broke a cheekbone and three fingers while intervening to protect the children, said her husband, Joshua Boyle, 34.

They made toys out of bottle caps and bits of cardboard, and fearing the family could be beheaded, they made up a game based on England's Charles I, who was executed in 1649, and Oliver Cromwell, she said.

"Obviously with people like this, the idea of a beheading is always on the table, so he certainly knew that this type of thing could happen to his family but then we would come up with games to make it not seem so scary," she said.

"He had great fun pretending to be Oliver Cromwell and chasing Charles I around and trying to behead him," she said. "We made it a game so that he wasn't afraid".


After the family returned to Canada last month, Boyle, 34, accused his kidnappers of murdering an infant daughter through a "forced abortion" and of raping his wife.

"They came into the cell, and they took my husband out forcefully, dragging him out, and one of the guards threw me down on the ground, hitting me and shouting 'I will kill you, I will kill you'" said his wife.

"And that's when the assault happened. It was with two men. And then there was a third at the door. And afterwards, the animals wouldn't even give me back my clothes".

Read more on:    taliban  |  us

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.