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 Pakistan Army in the northwest area, near the Afghan border in a late night ambush last week.
Soon after returning to Canada on Friday, Boyle told reporters that their captors had murdered a fourth child and had raped his wife.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid has rejected Boyle’s statement as propaganda by the Western governments.
“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.”
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 remote areas without access to a doctor and medications that led the loss of the child.”
Three children, all born in captivity, were rescued along with Boyle and Coleman.