LEAD: Japanese journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan freed: report
Sunday, September 05, 2021 2:09 AM

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ISLAMABAD, Sep. 5, 2010 (Kyodo News International) --
(Editors: ADDING INFO FROM 4TH TO LAST GRAFS)

A freelance Japanese journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan in spring this year has been released and has reached in Kabul, Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press reported Sunday.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, 41, was reported to be in good health, the news agency said, quoting a person who met him Saturday night shortly after his arrival in the Afghan capital.

According to AIP, Tsuneoka was released in the Dasht-e-Archie district of the northern Afghan province of Kunduz on Saturday.

Tsuneoka went missing in the Shomali area of northern Afghanistan around April 1.

AIP said that the Japanese journalist was released because he is a Muslim and his captors wanted him to celebrate Eid, the Islamic festival at the end of Ramadan, with his family.

Tsuneoka would be handed over to the Japanese Embassy by Afghan government authorities, it said.

In June, Afghan security officials said Taliban militants had demanded the Afghan government pay a ransom for Tsuneoka and that negotiations were under way to pay several hundred thousand dollars in return for his release.

On Friday, two messages posted on Twitter said Tsuneoka was alive but kept in jail in Archi, Kunduz. This was the first messages posted on Tsuneoka's Twitter account since April 1.

 

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