The father of one of the Afghan girls who caught the world’s attention when trying to attend a robotics contest in the United States was killed on Tuesday in an ISIL-claimed attack at a mosque in Herat.
Fatemah Qaderyan, the 14-year-old Afghan robotics team captain, is “angry and grieving” following the deadly attack targeting Shia worshippers, the team’s coach, Ali Reza Mehrban, told Al Jazeera.
“Fatemah’s father could not survive the injuries and lost his life,” Ali Reza Mehrban, the team’s director, told Al Jazeera.
At least 32 people were killed in the attack, and more than 60 were wounded.
“[Fatemah] is very angry and is not eating or speaking to anyone, she is going through a very difficult time,” Mehrban said.
Qaderyan said in an interview in July at the The First Global Challenge international robotics contest that her father was her greatest support.
The team won a silver medal for “courageous achievement”, with judges praising the group’s “can-do attitude”.
The event in Washington in July attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations.
But all eyes were on the squad of girls from Afghanistan, who had twice travelled 800 kilometres to the American embassy in Kabul, only to have their visa applications turned down.
They were finally granted entry with just one week to go until the event began after their story went viral.
Al Jazeera interviewed Qaderyan after the team was granted a visa.
“Afghanistan is a country at war and doesn’t have a lot of resources at hand. Other countries should consider this; they shouldn’t be so strict with us,” she told Al Jazeera in July.
Social media users offered condolences to Fatemah and her family.
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
Source: Al Jazeera News