BAGHDAD: An Iraqi model and Instagram star has been shot dead at the wheel of her Porsche in central Baghdad.
Video footage obtained by Arab News showed the moment the gunman opened fire through the window of the white convertible being driven by Tara Fares on Thursday.
The gunman fled the scene on the back of a motorcycle as the Porsche continued to roll forward slowly.
Security forces verified the authenticity of the video but did not give any more details about the killers or possible motivations. The interior ministry said the 22-year-old suffered “three fatal bullet wounds” as she drove through the capital’s Camp Sarah district.
An investigation into the killing has been launched, AFP reported.
Fares, a fashionista with 2.7 million followers on Instagram, became famous for her pictures, showing her sporting tattoos, different hair colors and adventurous outfits. But her persona and images drew strong criticism from conservatives.
Her killing came days after a human rights activist and mother of four was shot dead in Basra. Soad Al-Ali, who had been involved in organizing protests demanding better services in the city, was killed by gunmen who opened fire as she was getting in her car, AP reported.
Al-Ali, 46, was killed on the spot and her driver was injured. The gunmen fled the scene.
Ahmad Al-Basheer, an Iraqi satirist who lives in exile in Jordan after having faced death threats, condemned the murder of Fares, who was based in Iraqi Kurdistan and rarely traveled to her native Baghdad.
“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,” he said. Twitter users said Fares was a victim of her fame and targeted because of her lifestyle.
“I am beyond disappointed and hurt after hearing about another tragic loss in Iraq. Tara Fares, a model and social media influencer was gunned down in broad daylight in #Baghdad,” one user said.
“A young Iraq model was simply enjoying & loving life like other pretty girls. Unfortunately she got shot & killed by a few militants. I am truly heart broken & saddened by such a tragic news,” another wrote. “This Thursday it was Tara… Next Thursday, who will it be?” a third tweeted.