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Iraqi Tiktok star Umm Fahad shot dead in Baghdad

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Iraqi TikTok star Umm Fahad, whose real name is Ghufran Sawadi, was tragically shot dead outside her home in Baghdad on Friday night. The incident took place in the Zayouna area of Baghdad and was captured on a surveillance camera, according to reports from CNN.

In the video that has since been circulating on social media, a gunman on a motorcycle can be seen approaching and shooting the TikTok star multiple times before fleeing the scene. The authenticity of the video has been confirmed by a police source in Baghdad.

The Interior Minister of Iraq has announced the formation of a specialized team to investigate the killing of Umm Fahad by unknown assailants. The social media personality was well-known on TikTok for sharing videos of herself dancing to popular music in revealing outfits.

However, her content had previously landed her in legal trouble in Iraq, where she was sentenced to six months in prison for producing and publishing videos containing indecent language and violating public decency and morals.

This tragic incident is not the first time that a social media personality has been targeted in Iraq. Another popular TikTok personality, Noor Alsaffar, was also shot dead in Baghdad in September 2023. Alsaffar, who had a large following on Instagram and TikTok, posted videos about fashion, hair, makeup, and dancing.

Following news of the shooting, there was a mixture of reactions from the public, with some mourning the loss of Alsaffar while others celebrated the shooter. The killings of social media influencers in Iraq come at a time when the country is cracking down on LGBTQ expression and moving to criminalize it in law.

The deaths of Umm Fahad and Noor Alsaffar highlight the dangers faced by social media personalities in Iraq and raise concerns about the safety and freedom of expression in the country.

Head of content and Editor-at-large at – Dickson Ofori Siaw is a blunt writer who loves to make his readers see "the other perspectives of a news story". Follow me on Twitter @kwadwo_dost