Germany mourns Iran crash victims: refugee family and PhD student

Tributes were paid in Germany to a doctoral student and an Afghan family that had been granted asylum, after they were killed in the plane crash in Iran earlier this week.

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in the western German city of Mainz was mourning the death of a 29-year-old colleague who “died in a tragic incident near her home city of Tehran.”

The woman was “a brilliant and talented doctoral candidate, a valued colleague and a dear friend,” the institute said in an online statement on Friday.

It later confirmed to dpa that it was referring to Wednesday’s plane crash, in which all 176 people on board were killed.

Other victims from Germany were a woman from Afghanistan and her two children: an 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.

They had been living in the small town of Werl for years, local Mayor Michael Grossmann told dpa, citing information from the woman’s brother, who also lives there.

The 30-year-old mother and her children did not have German citizenship but were recognized asylum seekers.

The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 airliner crashed in a field shortly after taking off from Tehran on Wednesday.

Most of the victims were Iranian and Canadian citizens.

The Canadian and British governments both claim to have evidence that the jet was shot down by Iran in error, a theory which is also reportedly being pursued by the United States.

The official probe into the cause of the crash is still ongoing.

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