The Japanese government has confirmed that one of its country’s journalists has been killed covering the conflict in Syria.
Mika Yamamoto, who was 45, was an award-winning reporter working for an independent news agency, The Japan Press.
Her husband and colleague Kazutaka Sato was with her as they travelled with rebels in Aleppo, and said it appeared his wife was shot by government forces.
“Mika Yamamoto, she is my wife. I have been 15 years with her, she is my wife. Mika is my wife.
We are journalists, we want to show whole world what is happening in Syria,” he said, visibly in shock.
Mika Yamamoto had also covered the war in Afghanistan and the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to The Japan Press’ website.
A reporter who had worked with the journalist confirmed her identity from a video of her body filmed by activists.
A spokesman for the rebels, Captain Ahmed Ghazali, said they welcomed reporters but were not responsible for what he called the regime’s brutality: “Every journalist who comes in is responsible for themselves, and so is the nation they represent,” he said.
Several foreign journalists have been killed in the conflict but most have been Syrian. One group was recently kidnapped by rebels but later freed.
The past two months have seen attacks on pro-government TV stations. In June gunmen stormed the building of the al-Ekhbariah station, reportedly killing three people. Earlier this month the state-run TV building was hit by a bomb attack.