News | Syria
Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese reporter for the Japan Press agency, was killed on Monday, August 20, 2012, in Aleppo while covering fighting between government forces and rebels in the eastern district of Suleiman Al-Halabi. The Japanese foreign ministry confirmed Yamamoto's death. Her body has been transferred to Turkey.
Fellow Japan Press reporter Kazutaka Sato, who was with her at the time, told Japan’s NTV that they were caught in a shoot-out and ran into "soldiers in camouflage fatigues."
Sato said: "The one in front was wearing a helmet and I immediately thought they were government troops. I told [Yamamoto] to run. At the same moment, they opened fire. We must have been just 20 or 30 metres away. We scattered in different directions. After that, I didn’t see Yamamoto again. Then they told me to go to the hospital and I found her body."
Another Japanese TV station, TBS, quoted Sato as saying Yamamoto was shot in the neck.
Yamamoto had covered the war in Afghanistan after 2001 and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq from Baghdad as a special correspondent for NTV, according to Japan Press' website.
Yamamoto's body has been transferred to Turkey, where Japanese consular officials were providing assistance, Sato said.