Resilient Malala is back on her feet

LONDON: Pakistan's teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, has managed to stand with help for the first time since the attack on October 19 and is also able to write, doctors treating her at a UK hospital said on Friday, while warning that "she is not out of the woods" yet.

Fifteen-year-old Malala "is now well enough... she is happy, in fact, keen for us to share quite a lot of clinical detail with you," Dr David Rosser said. "She's communicating very freely, she's writing," he said.

Malala was "doing very well" but there were still some concerns about her smooth recovery, he said, adding that she was "not out of the woods" yet.

The schoolgirl, who with two classmates was attacked by the in the Swat region in northwest Pakistan, was flown to the UK and admitted in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Monday following a surgery at a Pakistani hospital during which a bullet lodged near her spine was removed.

"She is still showing some signs of infection, which is probably related to the bullet track," Rosser said.

Teams of specialist doctors looking after Malala feel that she will need a few weeks to rehabilitate and for her infection to clear up, following which part of her skull will need to be reconstructed either by reinserting the bone that was removed or with a titanium plate, BBC reported.

Earlier, media reports had mentioned Malala's age as 14. "Malala's family remain in Pakistan at this time," the hospital statement said.

Support messages for Malala on the hospital trust's website has grown to more than 2,300 overnight.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity has set up an account within the main hospital fund to support the teenage girl, who is widely known as a campaigner for girls' education in Pakistan.

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