Dead Japanese reporter had nine bullet wounds: police

A veteran Japanese war reporter killed while covering the anti-regime movement in Syria suffered nine bullet wounds with the fatal injury sustained in the neck, police said Sunday after an autopsy.

Mika Yamamoto is believed to have come under fire on Monday from pro-government troops in Aleppo, Syria's second city, which has borne the brunt of fighting in the country over the past month.

The autopsy, which took more than six hours on Sunday, found Yamamoto suffered nine bullet wounds, including one in the neck which fatally damaged her cervical spinal cord, a police spokeswoman said.

Her body was flown home on Saturday from Istanbul, accompanied by her long-time colleague Kazutaka Sato and two of Yamamoto's sisters.

Yamamoto, 45, is the fourth foreign journalist to have been killed in Syria since March 2011 and the first to have died in Aleppo. She had covered several armed conflicts, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yamamoto became a well-known face on Japanese television after surviving a US tank shelling on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad in 2003 in which two journalists, one from Reuters and one from a Spanish broadcaster, were killed.

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