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Father of Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar dies of COVID-19

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., (R) speaks to reporters about the federal government shutdown on January 24, 2019. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., (R) speaks to reporters about the federal government shutdown on January 24, 2019. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

June 16 (UPI) -- The father of Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar has died of complications from the coronavirus disease.

Omar, a staunch progressive and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, announced Monday that her father, Nur Omar Mohamed, had died.

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"It is with tremendous sadness and pain to say goodbye to my father," she tweeted late Monday. "No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew and loved him."

After living in a refugee camp in Kenya for four years, Omar and her father emigrated to the United States in 1995 and eventually settled in Minneapolis. She was raised by her father after initially fleeing civil war in her native Somalia, where her mother died when Omar was an infant.

Nur Omar Mohamed drove a cab and later worked for the U.S. Postal Service. Omar told The Washington Post last year she often went with him to Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party caucuses and "fell in love" with politics.

"The pain you're feeling is familiar to me. My heart breaks for you, sister," tweeted Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, whose brother died of COVID-19 in March.

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