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Iraq. Baghdad. TikTok star Ghufran Sawadi shot dead – what happened?

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Iraqi social media star Ghufran Sawadi, known as Umm Fahad, was shot dead outside her home in Baghdad on Friday evening, a police source told CNN.

The attack took place in the Zayouna district in eastern Baghdad and was recorded by a surveillance camera. The recording shows the attacker getting off the motorcycle and firing shots. Ghufran Sawadi died on the spot. A Baghdad police source confirmed the authenticity of the video to CNN.

Iraq's Interior Minister announced that he was “forming a specialized working team to determine the circumstances of the murder of a woman known from social media by unidentified assailants.”

The site of the murder of Ghufran Sawadi in Baghdad Ali Jabar/Associated Press/East News

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Sawadi, known as Umm Fahad, was popular on TikTok, where she shared videos of herself dancing to pop music in form-fitting clothes. In the past, these films have been deemed inappropriate by the Iraqi justice system. Sawadi was sentenced to six months in prison for “the crime of producing and publishing several films and videos containing obscene and indecent language, violating public decency and morals,” a statement from the Iraqi judiciary said.

Other Iraqi social media personalities have previously been the target of brutal attacks, CNN reported.

Noor Alsaffar, known on TikTok as Noor BM, was shot dead in Baghdad in September 2023. She had over 370,000 followers on Instagram and TikTok, where she posted short videos about fashion, hairstyles and makeup, often dancing to music.

Main photo source: Ali Jabar/Associated Press/East News

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