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Canada calls for unconditional release of kidnapped couple in Afghanistan

21 December 2016

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Senior Taliban figures confirmed on Tuesday they had released a new video showing a kidnapped American-Canadian family, including two young boys born in captivity while held by the feared Haqqani network.

In the video, Coleman calls their situation a "Kafkaesque nightmare" and urges "governments on both sides" to reach a deal for their freedom. In the video, which the 31-year-old Coleman says was taken December 3, 2016, Coleman refers to the USA and Canada as she reads from a script: "We understand both sides hate us and are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems".

The Obama Administration has been trying to bring the Pennsylvania native home since 2012.

Coleman addresses both President Barack Obama and president-elect Donald Trump when she says that her captors "are not simply going to release our family easily because it is correct". One of the officials said the Haqqani network delivered the video to Canadian and United States officials before posting it online late on Monday night.

"We have waited since 2012 for somebody to understand our problems", she said, appearing to read from a script, while her husband sat next to her with their children rested on his lap. "You must give them these things". A video released in August showed the two warning their captors would kill them and their children unless the government in Kabul stopped executing Taliban prisoners.

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Canadian Global Affairs spokesman Michael O'Shaughnessy said his government was aware of the latest video.

Coleman says her children have seen her "defiled". The Colemans issued a plea on Circa News Network in July to top Taliban leaders to let their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren go as an end-of-Ramadan show of mercy.

A Canadian spokesman said the government was reviewing the video, while US officials would not immediately comment.

USA officials declined to comment on the new video but directed reporters to statements made by State Department spokesman John Kirby following the release of the couples last video in late August.