A popular Iraqi social media influencer has died after being shot three times while driving her convertible Porsche in Baghdad last week.
22-year-old Tara Fares was the former Miss Baghdad as well as first runner-up for Miss Iraq, and had amassed an enormous following of 2.8 million on her Instagram account. However, on Thursday last week (September 27), her life came to a premature end when two gunmen travelling on motorbikes shot and killed her.
CNN reports security officials from the Iraqi capital have confirmed the young woman's death. An investigation has since been launched.
Tara, who was seen as something of a trailblazer, was famed for her liberal approach to presenting herself on social media. The 22-year-old was known for her bright, colorful outfits and hairstyles, as well as publicly discussing issues such as domestic abuse. While millions adored Tara and her 'break-the-mould' attitude, FirstPost reports her content "upset traditionalists" and she became subject to online insults.
As a result of the trolling, Tara reportedly left her home city of Baghdad, moving to Iraqi Kurdistan which is more liberal in comparison. The Instagrammer still made regular trips to the capital city, however, and the visit she made last week ultimately became her last.
Since she passed away, a black and white photograph of Tara has appeared on her Instagram account, with a caption which reads: "In a treacherous and cowardly incident, Tara Fares Chamoun, is with God. We asked God to accept her with His great mercy."
But Tara Fares isn't the only Iraqi woman to have been killed in recent weeks. On Tuesday last week, just two days before Tara's death, a female human rights activist named Suaad al-Ali was killed in Basra. She was also shot, this time in an outdoor market.
In August, two women working in Baghdad's beauty industry were also killed. Rafeef al-Yaseri, a plastic surgeon known known as the "Barbie of Iraq", was killed inside her home, while beauty centre owner Rasha al-Hassan, was found dead in her home just a week later.
In the wake of the killings, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered that an investigation is launched.
Our thoughts are with the families of all four women.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.
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