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Stuffed by their captors into the back of a car with their children as they were being ferried across the rugged tribal areas of northwest Pakistan, an American woman and her Canadian husband were in the final moments of their five-year ordeal as hostages.

But suddenly, shooting erupted. One of their abductors, a Taliban-linked militant, shouted, “Kill the hostages.”

The militants found themselves cornered by Pakistani troops. The gun battle ended, and soldiers pulled the family from the vehicle, to be taken by helicopter to Islamabad. They were safe. The Pakistanis, acting on information provided by American intelligence and collected from drones that had been tracking the hostages, had pulled off Wednesday’s risky operation.

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Gunshots, a Cry of ‘Kill the Hostages,’ Then Freedom for Canadian …

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