The father of the team captain of the Afghan female robotics team was killed in the suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in the city of Herat, Afghanistan, on Tuesday 1 August. The girls on Afghanistan's robotics team made headlines when they were finally granted visas to attend a competition in the US after their applications were rejected twice because of Donald Trump's travel ban.

Fatemah Qaderyan, 14, proudly led her teammates at the competition in Washington DC which saw students from 164 countries compete in various robotic games. It has now emerged that her father, Mohammad Asif, was among the 37 people killed in the terrorist attack at the Jawadia mosque in the western city of Herat, where hundreds of Shia Muslims were gathered for evening prayers.

Isis claimed responsibility for the attack which left 37 dead and 66 people injured. It was the fifth attack on a Shiite place of worship this year, four of which have taken place in Herat province.

Roya Mahboob, an Afghan technology entrepreneur who helped the girls attend the US competition, shared the news 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," she wrote.

The team was awarded a silver medal at the competition for their courageous achievements. After receiving the award, Qaderyan said: "I am so excited, and very, very happy. I still can't believe this happened."

The girls received a hero's welcome when they returned home and were honoured at a special reception by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. "Their success shows that Afghan girls, despite the challenges, can be good inspirations in the field of knowledge and technology," the president said.

Ten days after the celebration, Qaderyan's father was killed.

Afghan schoolgirls
Members of Afghan robotics girls team, who were previously denied entry into the United States for a competition, were told on 12 July that they had been granted visas REUTERS/Mohammad Shoib