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Autopsy report reveals Canadian killed fighting ISIS died from head injury: mother

Nazzareno Tassone is shown in this undated image from a Facebook Memorial page.
Nazzareno Tassone is shown in this undated image from a Facebook Memorial page. Facebook / Handout / The Canadian Press

An Ontario woman whose son was killed secretly fighting against Islamic State militants in northern Syria last year says she was devastated to finally learn the details of his death.

Tina Martino says an autopsy report she received last week concluded her 24-year-old son, Nazzareno Tassone, died from a blow to the head, not a gunshot wound as she had previously been told.

READ MORE: Body of Canadian killed fighting ISIS in Syria will soon be back home: mother

Martino says the autopsy, which was conducted in northern Iraq, also found her son had broken bones, cigarette burns to his body and face and marks that suggested he had been bound.

After days spent believing her son had been tortured, Martino says she learned Tuesday those injuries were incurred after his death.

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READ MORE: Mother of Canadian killed fighting ISIS in Syria questions delay in return of son’s body

Tassone was killed on Dec. 21 in the city of Raqqa while fighting militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS or ISIL.

Months before, Tassone had told his family that he was going to Iraq to teach English, but he secretly slipped into Syria to join forces with a U.S.-backed Kurdish group known as the YPG.

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