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May 20, 2019

Iraqi model and former beauty queen fatally shot in Baghdad

September 28, 2018
A person looks at the profile page of Iraqi model and Instagram starlet Tara Fares in Baghdad on September 28, 2018. Fares has been shot dead at the wheel of her Porsche convertible in central Baghdad. (AFP/Getty Images)

An Iraqi model with more than 2.7 million followers on Instagram was fatally shot in Baghdad Thursday.

Tara Fares — who held the title of Miss Baghdad in 2015, was shot by two motorcyclists in Iraq’s capital while driving her car, according to Kurdstan 24.

The 22-year-old’s body was found with three bullet wounds and taken to Baghdad’s Sheikh Zaid hospital where she was pronounced dead not long after arrival.

Hours after her death, a black and white photo was shared to her Instagram with part of the Arabic-written caption saying, “We belong to God and to him we return in an accident of treachery and cowardice.”

It is unknown who carried out the attack.

Her Instagram promoted her love for beauty, travel and style.

It also linked to her YouTube channel, where she shared video blogs of her experiences, food, and makeup tutorials.

Fares’ death comes just days after women’s rights activist Suad al-Ali was shot dead in the Iraqi city of Basra.

Basra has seen violent protests over unsafe water and corruption since the summer.

In August, two women in the beauty industry died mysteriously in their homes — the owner of Barbie beauty center Rafeef al-Yaser and Viola beauty center manager, Rasha al-Hassan

Earlier this year, Fares tweeted about how she never felt ashamed of living in a city “inhabited by war and destruction.”

Many fans took to Twitter to express their sadness in Fares’ death.

“Tara Fares was shot today because she dressed differently. She didn’t live according to rules set by society. She valued life. She valued freedom. She valued happiness,” one Twitter user wrote.

Others, however, were critical.

One person responded to TV correspondent Steve Nabil’s tweet saying, “Women are not safe in Iraq, actually no one is safe in Iraq. She shouldn’t have left Kurdistan, where she previously lived a normal life.”

Nabil shared a video that supposedly shows the moments after Fares was shot.

The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior has opened an investigation into her death after an order from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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