A person looks at the profile page of murdered Iraqi model and Instagram starlet Tara Fares in Baghdad on September 28, 2018. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq's prime minister has ordered an investigation into a spate of murders and abductions in the south of the country, demanding results within 48 hours.
Haider al-Abadi "directed the Interior Ministry and intelligence cell to immediately and within 48 hours work and focus on efforts at the national level to obtain information and take measures regarding the crimes of assassination and abduction happening at a high level in Basra and Baghdad provinces and other places simultaneously," according to a statement from his office Friday evening.
He said there appeared to be an “organized plan” behind these crimes.
Abadi's order comes after recent murders of four high profile women and reports of abductions of people who participated in protests in Basra over the summer.
Model and social media star Tara Fares was shot dead at the wheel of her Porsche in Baghdad, sparking outrage online.
Suad al-Ali, a civil activist who supported protests in Basra over the summer, was shot dead earlier this week. The UN urged a thorough investigation into the murder.
Two other women, Rafeef al-Yaseri, a beautician, and Rasha al-Hassan, a cosmetics expert, were also killed in recent weeks.
Abadi’s order was greeted with cynicism online.
“You said the same thing about the bombing of Karrada and other terrorists acts,” wrote one social media user.