Freed Japanese journalist says Taliban did not kidnap him

Kosuke Tsuneoka claims he was captured by a 'corrupt military faction'.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, the Japanese freelance journalist released after five months of captivity in Afghanistan, said on Monday that he was not kidnapped by the Taliban, as claimed by Afghan security authorities.

The 41-year old, who covered conflicts in Iraq, Georgia, Chechnya, Ethiopia and other hotspots around the world, said in a Twitter message that he was captured by a corrupt military faction.

In the messages posted in Japanese, Tsuneoka said the factions in Kunduz and Takhar provinces who kidnapped him pretended to be Taliban and "tried to extort" the Japanese government.

He added that he feared being killed "to ensure his silence once the group ended its extortion attempt".

The Japanese Embassy in Kabul said the kidnappers' motive was still not clear.

While Japanese media reported that the government was negotiating with the group over paying several hundred thousand dollars for Tsuneoka's release, the country's chief cabinet secretary, Yoshito Sengoku, said the Japanese government and the family of the kidnap victim did not pay any ransom to the kidnappers.