A senior female Japanese war correspondent, Mika Yamamoto was shot dead by pro Assad snipers on Aleppo streets while covering Syrian civil war, her family and the govt. sources informed on Tuesday. (21 August 2012).
Yamamoto, 45 was an award winning journo who worked for Tokyo based Japan Press, an independent TV news provider specializing in war zone coverage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Mika Yamamoto working for Kyodo News was killed as a result of conflicts between rebels and govt. soldiers.
The Syrian Observatory’s President, Rami Abdel Rahmane told AFP that Yamamoto was critically injured on Monday in the district of Suleiman al-Halabi, just east of where the fighting was taking place. Masaru Sato, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said Yamamoto was hit by gunfire while she and a colleague were traveling with the Free Syrian Army in the northwestern city of Aleppo.
Although Yamamoto was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, her injuries proved to be fatal. Some sources allege that the Japanese journo had most likely been hit by a projectile. For long the rebel army in Syria has been trying to dislodge the despotic regime of President Bashar Assad.
In one video uploaded to YouTube by the militants’ a female’s limpid body is shown lying in a room, with a large injury on her right arm. It needs to be confirmed if it indeed is the lady’s body.
Warning Graphic Video: 18+ Adults Only: Mika Yamamoto Killed by Assad Militia
In another video uploaded by an activist in Syria apparently taken at a field shows Yamamoto’s lifeless body covered in blankets with only her face visible, inside a van. One AP reporter who had worked with Yamamoto and who viewed the video confirmed it was indeed her body.
Nearby her teary-eyed Japanese colleague Kazutaka Sato kept looking at her and then gently pressed his cheek against hers. He was heard speaking to her: "Why? You are wearing a flak jacket …That must hurt. Did you suffer? Were you shot in the head?" Then on noticing her bloodied with gunshot wounds and realizing she must have suffered in pain shook his head saying "Oh, that hurt, didn't it?"
Japanese government officials citing her father Koji Yamamoto stated that the lady was shot in the neck while covering the war torn zone. This is not the first time she was covering conflicts, she had even covered the Afghanistan wars after 2001 and the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 from Baghdad as a special correspondent for NTV, informed a Japanese Press' website.
Mika Yamamoto’s employers the Japan Press release footage of her final hours. This includes the last events she filmed. Yamamoto is shown reporting on the conflict ridden city alongside her life partner and work colleague, Kazutaka Sato.
Footage released of slain Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto's final hours - Video
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