Father of Afghan girls’ robotics team captain killed in ISIS attack
Alex Wong/Getty Images(HERAT, Afghanistan) — Fourteen-year-old Fatemah Qaderyan, a member of the all-girls Afghan robotics team that gained notoriety after competing in the U.S. last month, is grieving the loss of her father who died in an ISIS-claimed terrorist attack, the team’s coach said Thursday.
Fatemah’s father was killed when suicide bombers targeted a group of worshipers at a Shia mosque in the province of Herat in western Afghanistan on Tuesday evening, the team’s director, Ali Reza Mehrban, told Al Jazeera Thursday morning.
“[Fatemah] is very angry and is not eating or speaking to anyone. She is going through a very difficult time,” Mehrban told Al Jazeera.
Roya Mahboob, the CEO of Digital Citizen Fund, which helped organize the Afghan team, expressed her condolences on Twitter.
Condolences to Team Afghanistan’s captain,Fatemah whose father passed away in recent attack by ISIS in Herat.His daughter made him so proud pic.twitter.com/9StgUjdHPc
— Roya Mahboob (@RoyaMahboob) August 3, 2017
More than 30 people were killed in the attack and more than 60 others were injured, authorities said. Witnesses said the site was packed with nearly 300 worshipers at the time of the attack.
Fatemah and her teammates made international headlines last month when they fought for a chance to compete in the annual FIRST Global Challenge robotics contest in Washington.
The all-girls team faced many challenges, including being denied U.S. visas twice, causing them to nearly miss the competition.
When they were finally allowed to compete, the team was awarded a silver medal for “courageous achievement” at the international contest and were praised for their persistence.
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