14yo schoolgirl activist shot in head by Pakistani Taliban
The Pakistani Taliban confirmed that one of its members shot and gravely wounded a 14-year-old schoolgirl who earned attention for speaking out against the group.
Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck when militants fired on her school bus on Tuesday. The bus was about to leave the school grounds in the city of Mingora when a bearded man approached it and asked which one of the girls was Malala, said Rasool Shah, the local police chief. Another girl pointed to Malala, but the activist denied it was her and the gunmen then shot both of the girls.
Later that day, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital Islamabad.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters his group was behind the shooting.
“She was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol.”
Malala was shot twice — once in the head and once in the neck — but her wounds were not life-threatening, according to Tariq Mohammad, a doctor at the main hospital in Mingora. Security forces have cordoned off the hospital.
Yousufzai became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists. She was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for a blog she wrote anonymously for the BBC website.
She also won the National Peace Prize in Pakistan, was honored with a school named after her, and quickly became an outspoken critic of the Taliban and public advocate for peace.
Hospital staff assist Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was wounded in a gun attack, at Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital in the Swat Valley region in northwest Pakistan October 9, 2012. (Reuters)
Photo from Malala Yousafzai’s official website http://malalayousafzai.webnode.com/