Malala visitors denied in UK

BRITISH police said they questioned and turned away two people who tried to visit Malala Yousafzai in the British hospital where the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl is being treated after being shot by the Taliban.

''No arrests were made, and at no point was there any threat to Malala,'' the police said.

Malala was flown to England from Pakistan on Monday to receive specialised medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Reuters reported that the Taliban said the shot schoolgirl deserved to die, claiming she was a spy for the West.

A Taliban statement read: ''For this espionage, infidels gave her awards and rewards. And Islam orders killing of those who are spying for enemies … She used to propagate against mujahideen [holy warriors] to defame [the] Taliban. The Koran says that people propagating against Islam and Islamic forces would be killed.''

In Britain, the police ''recorded'' the visitors' details ''and advised the pair that they would not be allowed to see her''. The police statement appeared to respond to reports that quoted Dr David Rosser, medical director of the facility, as saying ''a number of people turned up claiming to be members of Malala's family, which we don't believe to be true, and have been arrested''.

Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie has thrown her support behind the 14-year-old activist. Jolie, a mother of six and goodwill ambassador for the UN's High Commission for Refugees, has written a piece for US news website The Daily Beast about discussing Malala's plight with her children. ''Still trying to understand, my children asked, 'Why did those men think they needed to kill Malala?' Jolie wrote.

''I answered, 'because an education is a powerful thing'. This violent and hateful act seems to have accomplished the opposite of its intent, as Pakistanis rally to embrace Malala's principles and reject the tyranny of fear.''

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