Taliban deny former hostage’s claims of murder, abuse

PESHAWAR: A Taliban spokesman denied on Sunday accusations by a Canadian man that one of his children had been murdered and his wife raped while they were being held captive by militants who kidnapped them in Afghanistan in 2012.
Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were held by the Haqqani network, a semi-independent wing of the Afghan Taliban, before being rescued by Pakistani troops in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border, last week.
Boyle told reporters soon after he, his wife and their three children returned to Canada on Friday that their captors had murdered a fourth child had raped his wife.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that as propaganda by the Western governments that helped rescue the family.
“We strongly reject these fake and fabricated allegations of this Canadian family, now in the hands of the enemy,” he said in a statement sent to media.
“Whatever statement the enemy wants to put in their mouth, the family is forced to make it.”
Boyle called on the Taliban to “provide my family with the justice we deserve”.
Mujahid said the couple was intentionally never separated in order to protect their safety.
He also denied that their child had been murdered, but acknowledged that one child became sick and died.
“We were in a remote area without access to a doctor and medications that led the loss of the child,” he said.
Three children, all born in captivity, were rescued along with Boyle and Coleman. — Reuters