There have been a number of horror stories involving the kidnapping of unfortunate hostages by the Taliban in recent years. In addition to numerous Afghani citizens, politicians and other high-ranking officials, as well as people from countries including Pakistan, the organisation is known for taking hostages from the US and elsewhere.
A Canadian man and his family were among those who were captured over the years but they were recently rescued from captors, having been held by the Taliban for five years.
Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were kidnapped in 2012 while Coleman was pregnant. They had been captive for five years during which time Caitlan gave birth to three children.
Boyle recalls he was also told - and did not believe - that Donald Trump was President of the United States, telling the Toronto Star that it "didn't even enter [his] mind that they were being serious".
The couple were kidnapped by the Haqqani network, an Afghan guerrilla network associated with the Taliban. Rarely given info on the outside world, Boyle only discovered his country's prime minister was Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre, another former Canadian PM, after his release.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Credit: PA Images
Boyle was informed of Trump's ascent to power by a captor hoping to use it in what's known as a "proof-of-life" video, though, Boyle assumed it was a joke.
Pakistani forces rescued the family last week following a car chase near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border which saw the families' captors killed.
Back in Canada, Boyle commented on their adjustment. He said in a statement: "Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost."
Though now back in Boyle's homeland, the family will have a hard time adjusting after their harrowing ordeal, with their children in particular having not known any other kind of life.
Words: Ronan O'Shea
Featured Image Credit: PA Images