A young participant in an international robotics competition held in the U.S. has lost her father to a suicide bomber. In early July, President Trump helped her group of Afghan girls gain entry into the U.S. to participate. Tuesday, officials and the team’s coach confirmed that the group captain’s father was a victim of an Islamic State suicide bomber.
Fatemah Qaderyan’s dad, Mohammad Asif Qaderyan, was one of over 30 people killed during a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Herat on Tuesday, according to an Afghan official.
Speaking to NBC News, Fatemah’s team coach, Ali Reza Mehrban, said the 14-year-old girl is heartbroken.
“Her feelings are not good,” the coach said. “She’s not feeling good. She’s not in good shape.”
Afghan robotics girl, Fatema Qaderyan, lost her dad in Tuesday’s ISIS bombing at a mosque in Herat Province. pic.twitter.com/udbdK9TYUc
— VOA Dari صدای امریکا (@VOADariAfghan) August 3, 2017
Fatemah was one of six girls who competed in the First Global robotics competition in July. The team was awarded the silver medal for courageous achievement during a ceremony following the event, which they were almost unable to attend.
U.S. officials initially denied the Afghan girls visas on at least two occasions, then President Donald Trump intervened. Reportedly, the president asked officials within the National Security Council if they could reverse the judgement. At his urging, U.S. officials decided to allow the girls entry for a 10 day period.
Fatemah’s father was killed in a suicide attack in a Shia mosque in Herat, located in western Afghanistan. The attack killed over 30 people, and more than 60 were reported wounded, according to officials.
Local police said there appeared to be more than one attacker, as witnesses described a suicide bomber with explosives and at least one gunman who threw grenades.
According to reports, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
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