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Japanese woman killed

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HARARE, Zimbabwe - A pride of lions attacked and killed a Japanese woman visiting a Zimbabwe wildlife park, state media reported Sunday.

The attack occurred Thursday at the Lion and Cheetah Park at Norton, 25 miles west of the capital, Harare, assistant police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena told the Sunday Mail newspaper.

The 50-year-old woman was about to leave the park's 49-acre lion enclosure on foot with five people from the Japanese Embassy and park employees when one of the animals attacked, he said.

"Other lions, whose number we were not given, also went for the helpless woman and joined in the attack," Bvudzijena said.

The woman's companions threw stones to drive away the lions. She was rushed to Parirenyatwa Teaching Hospital in Harare, where she died of her injuries the following day, the newspaper reported.

The victim's identity was not released. The newspaper reported that she was linked to the embassy, but it did not elaborate.

It was not immediately clear what the group was doing on foot inside the enclosure. Previously, visitors have been under strict instructions not to exit their vehicles.

The Sunday Mail said an official inquiry would establish whether security measures were followed.

Police, park officials and officials at the Japanese Embassy were not immediately available to comment Sunday.

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