Japanese journalist killed in Syria

A Japanese journalist from an independent TV news service has been killed while reporting on the civil war in Syria, a spokesman from the Foreign Ministry confirms.

2 other journalists from U.S.-based company reportedly captured

Free Syrian Army fighters hold their weapons during clashes in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo on Friday. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

A Japanese journalist has been killed in Syria while covering the civil war there, Japan's government said.

Mika Yamamoto, a veteran war correspondent with Japan Press, an independent TV news provider that specializes in conflict zone coverage, was killed in Syria while reporting, said Masaru Sato, a spokesman with the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.

Yamamoto was with a colleague from Tokyo-based Japan Press when she was killed, Sato said. It wasn't clear when or where she died.

Mika Yamamoto, seen here in 2004, was a veteran war correspondent with independent TV provider Japan Press. (Kyodo News/Associated Press)

Her body has been transferred to Turkey, where Japanese consular officials were providing assistance, Sato said.

Yamamoto had reported from Afghanistan on the war there after 2001, and covered the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq from Baghdad as a special correspondent for NTV, according to Japan Press' website. She was born in 1967, it said.

A video posted on YouTube on Monday by an activist in Syria shows the dead body of an Asian woman inside a van wrapped in blankets with only her face showing.

An Associated Press reporter who had worked with Yamamoto and who viewed the video confirmed her identity.

In the video, Capt. Ahmed Ghazali, a rebel fighter in the northern Syrian city of Azaz, says the woman was killed in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

Ghazali also said two other journalists were captured by Syrian government forces in Aleppo, including a reporter with Al-Hurra TV named "Bashar."

A statement from Springfield, Va.-based Al-Hurra said the video referred to correspondent Bashar Fahmi and his cameraman Cuneyt Unal. The company has not been able to reach either man since they entered Syria on Monday morning.

"We are currently working to gather more information about their status. The safety and wellbeing of our journalists is of utmost concern to us," the statement said.