Canadian freed after five years in Taliban captivity

Toronto, Jan 12 (IANS) A Canadian, who was kidnapped in 2010 while on vacation in war-torn Afghanistan, has been released from captivity, a statement by Canada’s foreign minister said.

Colin Rutherford, a Toronto man, had appeared in a video released by the Taliban in 2011, an year after he was captured, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Canada is very pleased that efforts undertaken to secure the release of Colin Rutherford from captivity have been successful,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion. “We look forward to Rutherford being able to return to Canada and reunite with his family and loved ones.”

“The government of Canada will continue to provide Rutherford with consular assistance and will assist in facilitating his safe return home,” Dion said in the news release on Monday.

The minister also offered his “heartfelt thanks to the government of Qatar for its assistance in this matter”.

Rutherford’s brother, Brian, wrote in an e-mail to CBC News: “We are obviously overjoyed with the news!”

Rutherford’s mother and brother spoke to CBC in 2011, saying they wanted to make contact with his captors. According to his mother, Rutherford had chosen to go to Afghanistan out of his love for travel and history.

The Taliban claimed Rutherford was a “spy” and threatened to put him on trial.

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