Iraqi model and social media star fatally shot in Baghdad
Tara Fares, a 22-year-old first runner-up for Miss Iraq, was shot and killed while at the wheel of her white convertible after gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on her. (Instagram)
The fatal shooting of an Iraqi social media star and former Miss Baghdad is sparking concerns that her death could be related to a string of other attacks on women who were seen to be opposing the country’s conservative norms.
Tara Fares, a 22-year-old first runner-up for Miss Iraq, was shot and killed while at the wheel of her white convertible after gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on her last Thursday in an upscale part of Baghdad.
Nearly 3 million people followed her Instagram account, which featured photos of her modelling different wigs and outfits.
Shortly after Fares’ death, a black-and-white photo was posted to her Instagram with a caption saying “In a treacherous and cowardly incident, Tara Fares Chamoun, is with God. We asked God to accept her with His great mercy.”
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered Iraq’s intelligence agencies and the Interior Ministry to investigate her killing.
Fares is the latest well known young women to be mysteriously killed in the country in recent months, leading some to fear that the attacks are not random, but rather a targeted effort against women who some believed to be shirking the country’s conservative traditions.
Just two days before Fares’ death, Suaad al-Ali, a female human rights activist, was killed in an outdoor market in the Iraqi city of Basra. One month earlier, two women in Iraq’s beauty and lifestyle industry were also found dead.