Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban Sent to Britain

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Pakistan’s military says the 14-year-old schoolgirl who was recently shot by the Taliban has been sent to Britain for medical treatment.

The military said Monday that a panel of doctors recommended Malala Yousafzai’s transfer to a British facility “which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury.”  The teenager was being treated in military hospitals in the Pakistani cities of Peshawar and Rawalpindi.

Taliban gunmen shot Yousafzai in the neck and head on October 9 as she left school in the northwestern area of Swat Valley. The Taliban said it targeted the girl because she spoke out against the militant group.

The Pakistani military said Monday doctors agreed that Yousafzai “will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received.”  The military said she will need the repair or replacement of “damaged bones of the skull and long-term rehabilitation.”

The United Arab Emirates provided an air ambulance for Yousafzai’s trip to Britain, where British Foreign Secretary William Hague said she will be receiving specialist medical care at a public hospital.

Yousafzai has been internationally recognized for promoting education for girls and documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home in the north-western Swat Valley. 

British Foreign Secretary Hague said Monday “last week’s barbaric attack on Malala Yousafzai and her school friends shocked Pakistan and the world.”  He said, “Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.”

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, to show their support for Yousafzai. 

Also Sunday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged the political and religious leaders of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan to mount a collaborative plan of action against terrorism and extremism.

Children across Pakistan and Afghanistan Saturday prayed for Yousafzai’s recovery.

Pakistani police have arrested several shooting suspects in Swat Valley.

A Taliban spokesman in the region said Friday the group’s leaders decided a few months ago to kill Yousafzai and assigned gunmen to carry it out.  The Taliban said the girl was targeted because she is “pro-West,” has denounced the militant group and has called U.S. President Barack Obama her idol.

 

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