Japanese war journalist shot dead in Syria

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Tokyo, Aug 21: A veteran Japanese war journalist, Mika Yamamoto, was killed in a crossfire in Syria while covering the civil war in the West Asian country, government sources in Japan said on Tuesday.

Yamamoto, a war correspondent with The Japan Press, which specialises in the conflict zone coverage, was killed in the Suleiman al-Halabi neighbourhood in the northwestern city of Aleppo on Monday, sources in the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

It is learnt that the 45-year-old journalist was shot while she, along with her colleague, was travelling with the Free Syrian Army, which was aiming to topple President Bashar al-Assad from power. Her body was later identified by another press man.

A rebel fighter in the north Syrian city of Azaz said the Japanese journalist was shot by government forces. He said although they would welcome journalists in the violence-torn Syria, but they would not take responsibility for the onslaught of Assad's forces against the media. Yamamoto's body was later taken to Turkey, where Japanese consulate officials were carrying out the necessary formalities.

Yamamoto had covered the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in 2001 and 2003 as a special correspondent, said The Japan Press's website.

The rebel fighters, however, expressed hope that the journalist’s death would make the international community concentrate on the endless Syrian crisis.

Two other journalists were also captured by the Syrian government forces in Aleppo after they entered Syria on Monday morning, said the rebel forces and their whereabouts were yet not known.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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