Freelance journalist Mika Yamamoto killed in Syria
23 Aug 2012
Japanese freelance journalist Mika Yamamoto has been killed in Syria.
The veteran correspondent, who was on assignment for independent news agency Japan Press, was fatally wounded whilst covering fighting between opposition forces and pro-government forces in the Al Halabi district of Aleppo on August 20th. She died of her injuries in a nearby hospital. She had been shot in the neck.
Mika's partner and work colleague, Kazutaka Sato, who was with her in Aleppo, said that they were caught in a shoot out when "soldiers in camouflage fatigues" appeared and opened fire. They had been travelling with the Free Syrian Army.
45-year old Mika was an award-winning journalist with over twenty years experience as a foreign correspondent and camerawoman, covering conflict in countries including Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Iraq, where she survived air raids on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad in 2003, which killed three journalists. She was also a part-time lecturer at Waseda University's journalism school.
Our thoughts are with Mika's family, friends and colleagues.
Mika is the latest in a growing list of freelancers to be killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict - many of them local. It is now the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.
Mika's last footage
On 22nd August, Mika's Japan Press colleagues released this footage of the freelancer's final hours, including the last events she filmed.
Journalists still missing
Palestinian reporter Bashar Fahmi and Turkish cameraman, Cuneyt Unal, who were with Yamamoto and Sato in Aleppo, are still missing. They were on assignment for Al-Hurra TV, who have released this statement.