Gambia robotics students granted US visas after rejection

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The mentor for a Gambian student team says the five teens have been granted U.S. visas after initially being denied the chance to compete in a prestigious international robotics contest in Washington.

Mucktarr Darboe, an education and science ministry director, said after Thursday's interview at the U.S. Embassy the students were given visa letters and will pick them up Monday. Darboe said he was denied one because the U.S. is not currently granting visas to Gambian government officials. The team will be met by the Gambian American Association in Washington.

Gambia and Afghanistan were the only two countries among more than 160 that did not get visas. Gambia recently ousted a dictator by electing a president who promises democratic reforms.

The robotics competition is being held July 16-18.