State Dept. - US aware of Afghan hostage video, assessing it

Couple Held Hostage By Taliban Seen For First Time in Three Years


WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that authorities were assessing the validity of a video released by Afghan militants that depicts U.S. hostage Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, who were seized four years ago.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was concerned about the welfare of the couple and their family and "continue to urge for their immediate release on humanitarian grounds."

Coleman and Boyle vanished a few days after arriving in Afghanistan while on a backpacking trip near the Pakistani border in 2012. Coleman, who was pregnant at the time, has given birth to two boys while in captivity, ABC News reported earlier this year, citing her parents.

See images of the hostages:

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Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, held by Taliban affiliate
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Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, held by Taliban affiliate

Caitlan Coleman, Joshua Boyle and their children.

(Screenshot from Taliban Video)

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 23: Caitlan Coleman, the wife of Canadian Joshua Boyle, holds her infant daughter as she speaks to the Star from the grounds of a hospital in Ottawa, in her first interview since the family's rescue from Taliban- linked militants in Pakistan. (Michelle Shephard/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle and one of his children walk outside the Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving with his wife and three children to Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

Linda Boyle, mother of freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, arrives with grocery bags at the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle watches as one of his children plays outside the Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving with his wife and three children at Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Security guards outside freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
SMITHS FALLS, ON - OCT. 12: Boyle-room: The room in the Boyle's Smith Falls, Ont. home that has been set up for the return of Joshua Boyle's three children, born in captivity during their five years held hostage. (Michelle Shephard/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Linda Boyle, mother of freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, arrives at the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
SMITHS FALLS, ON - OCT. 12: Patrick Boyle, his wife Linda and security consultant Andy Ellis talk to Canadian and U.S. officials about the release of Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children. The couple had been held hostage for five years by the Haqqani network. Their three children were born in captivity. (Michelle Shephard/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
SMITHS FALLS, ON - OCT. 12: Joshua Boyle's sister sits with their family dog, with a crib in the foreground that family is getting ready for her 2-month-old niece. (Michelle Shephard/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 12 - Linda and Patrick Boyle in their Smith Falls, ON. home awaiting the arrival of their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who were rescued by the Pakistani army on Oct. 11. Joshua Boyle, 34, Caitlan Coleman, 31 were held hostage by the Haqqani network for five years. All three of their children, two sons 4 an 2 and a 2-month-old daughter were born in captivity. (Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Joshua Boyle walks through the airport after arriving with his wife and three children at Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Patrick Boyle, father of freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle walks outside his home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Joshua Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Joshua Boyle stands with his father Patrick Doyle (L) after arriving with his wife and three children to Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 12 - Linda and Patrick Boyle in their Smith Falls, ON. home awaiting the arrival of their son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren who were rescued by the Pakistani army on Oct. 11. Joshua Boyle, 34, Caitlan Coleman, 31 were held hostage by the Haqqani network for five years. All three of their children, two sons 4 an 2 and a 2-month-old daughter were born in captivity. (Randy Risling/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone outside the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone as one of his children plays outside the Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Joshua Boyle speaks to the media after arriving with his wife and three children to Toronto Pearson International Airport, nearly 5 years after he and his wife were abducted in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle talks on the phone outside the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Boyle, whose family was freed from captivity in Pakistan last week, arrived back home early October 14. He accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike CARROCCETTO (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Journalists wait outside freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Journalists work outside freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Security guards outside freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle's family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Patrick Boyle, father of freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, puts up a bedsheet to block the view of journalists camped outside the Boyle family home in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 14, 2017. Freed Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, who arrived back home early October 14 morning, accused his kidnappers of murdering his baby daughter and raping his wife during his family's years-long captivity by the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Boyle leveled the accusations in a terse statement he read on arrival in Toronto late October 13 with his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, and three children, who were freed on October 11 by Pakistani troops. / AFP PHOTO / Mike Carroccetto (Photo credit should read MIKE CARROCCETTO/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Daily Beast online news organization said on Tuesday it had obtained the new video, which depicted Coleman saying her captors were threatening to kill the family if Taliban prisoners were executed in Afghan jails. Coleman pleaded for U.S. intervention, the newspaper said.

The Daily Beast said the Haqqani network, a Taliban affiliate operating in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, was holding the family captive and made the video and posted it online.

Kirby said the United States was "regularly engaged with the governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan at the highest levels to emphasize our commitment to seeing our citizens return safely to their families."

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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