Mattis hopeful freeing of hostages in Pakistan to boost cooperation

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James Mattis
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the "Political and Security Situation in Afghanistan" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

MIAMI: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday he was hopeful that the freeing of a kidnapped U.S.-Canadian couple and their three children in Pakistan was a harbinger for closer cooperation in the future.
“This is a very positive moment and the Pakistan Army performed well,” Mattis told reporters on board a military plane, adding he hoped this would be “a harbinger for the future.”
“We intend to work with Pakistan in a collaborative way in the future to stop terrorism and that includes kidnapping,” Mattis added. He declined to comment on any specifics on how the hostages were freed.
American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, along with their children born in captivity, were freed nearly five years after the couple was abducted in neighboring Afghanistan by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, which the United States has long accused Pakistan of failing to fight.
US intelligence services had been tracking the movement of the hostages and informed their Pakistani partners when the hostages were moved across the Pak-Afghan border into Kurram agency on October 11, 2017.
The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence by US authorities, successfully recovered the hostages. – Reuters

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