• Kyodo


A Japanese freelance journalist who went missing in Afghanistan after apparently being detained by Afghan militants has been released and is under the protection of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul, Japanese government sources said Sunday.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, 41, was released Saturday and was in good health, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency said, quoting a person who met Tsuneoka Saturday night shortly after his arrival in the Afghan capital.

In Tokyo, government sources said Tsuneoka received a medical checkup at the Japanese Embassy and appeared to have no injuries.

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

Tsuneoka went missing in late March while traveling in Kunduz to interview senior Taliban officials. He posted a Twitter message on April 1.

AIP said the 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.

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