Ex-Iraqi beauty queen Tara Fares killed in Baghdad

By: www.telegraph.co.uk
Former beauty-queen Tara Fares
Tara Fares was gunned down

AN Iraqi model and fashion blogger and former beauty queen, Tara Fares has been shot dead in a Baghdad street, the latest in a series of high-profile Iraqi women to be murdered.

Tara Fares, 22, was one of Iraq’s best known social media figures and more than 2.7 million people followed the Instagram account where she posted photos of herself in daring outfits.

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She was shot three times at the wheel of her Porsche convertible while driving in central Baghdad on Thursday. 

Her killers are unknown but many of her fans on social media said they believed she had been targeted by religious fanatics who wanted to stop Iraqi women freely expressing themselves. 

"Anyone who finds excuses for those who kill a girl just because she had decided to live like most other girls on the planet is an accomplice to her murder," said Ahmad al-Basheer, an Iraqi satirist.

Ms Tara Fares seemed to be aware that she was a potential target of extremists. 

In an Instagram post in July she wrote: “It does not frighten me that there are those who reject the existence of God. What really frightens me is there are those who kill and slaughter to prove the existence of God.”

View this post on Instagram

صراحة مداكدر استوعب الخبر .. الى رحمة الله هم السابقون ونحن اللاحقون

A post shared by Tara Fares | تاره فارس (@its.tarafares) on

The Iraqi interior ministry said it was investigating the killing.

The city has been rocked by protests over corruption and unsafe water in recent weeks and Ms Ali was involved in organising the demonstrations. She was killed Tuesday as walked towards her car. 

Two Iraqi beauty experts also died in mysterious circumstances in August, leading some Iraqis to believe they were being targeted. 

Rafeef al-Yaseri, the owner of the well-known Barbie beauty centre, was found dead in her Baghdad home on August 16. A week later, Rasha al-Hassan, another salon owner, was also found dead. 

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They don’t wanna see u win 💎🤷🏽‍♀️🌱🥀#tarafares🕊

A post shared by Tara Fares | تاره فارس (@its.tarafares) on

The cause of their deaths was unclear but Faiq al-Sheikh Ali, an Iraqi MP, suggested they had been killed by religious fanatics.  

“After the pilots, doctors, university professors and others, it is beauty centers turn now, from Rafeef to Rasha,” he said.