Father of Robotics Team Captain Killed by ISIS

Mohammed Asef Qaderyan was among 36 killed in Herat blast
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2017 1:45 AM CDT
The Afghanistan girls team, from left, Rodaba Noori, left, Fatemah Qaderyan, Lida Azizi, and Kawsar Rashan, wait at their booth with their robot to compete in the "First Global Robotics Challenge," Monday,...   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – The father of the captain of the Afghan girls' robotics team has been killed just weeks after one of the proudest moments of his life. Mohammed Asef Qaderyan, father of 14-year-old Fatemah Qaderyan, was among at least 36 people killed Tuesday night in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the city of Herat, the Guardian reports. The attack on a Shia mosque was claimed by ISIS. The robotics team, which returned from the US 10 days ago, was initially denied a visa from the State Department to compete in the Washington, DC-based international contest, but they were granted a visa after President Trump intervened.

In an interview at the event, where the team won a silver medal for "courageous achievement," Fatemah said her father was her greatest supporter, the Guardian reports. After the attack, "Fatemah's father could not survive the injuries and lost his life," the team's director tells Al Jazeera. Fatemah "is very angry and is not eating or speaking to anyone, she is going through a very difficult time," he says. The New York Times reports that after returning to Afghanistan, Fatemah expressed worries that the exposure could be dangerous. "We appeared in front of national and international media, and in our country this is still dangerous that Afghan girls appear before the media," she said. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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