Atlanta 10/16/2012 1:39:02 AM
News / World

Teen Activist Shot By Taliban Militants Moved To UK Hospital

Teen activist Malala Yousafzai will continue medical treatment for her wounds at a U.K. hospital, military officials in Pakistan confirm. The 14-year-old, who was shot by Taliban militants last week in Swat Valley, was flown from a military hospital in Rawalpindi to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Monday. The United Arab Emirates provided the specially equipped plane. Yousafzai was accompanied by a medical team and family members.

"Malala will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received," the Pakistani military said in a statement on Monday. “It was the view that if Malala was going to be transferred overseas to a center which could provide the required integrated care, then it should be during this time window, while her condition was optimal and before any unforeseen complications had set in.”

Doctors said Yousafzai was in serious but stable condition following surgery to remove a bullet from her neck last week. At Queen Anne Hospital Yousafzai will undergo neurological treatment and doctors will repair damaged parts of her skull. "Malala’s ongoing clinical care is now the hospital’s priority," the hospital said in a statement. "Our organization and processes include robust security measures to protect the privacy and dignity of all our patients, both military and civilian."

Yousafzai, who promoted education for girls, was attacked by gunmen last Tuesday while returning home from school. The men stopped her school bus and opened fire after demanding to know which girl was Yousafzai. Yousafzai was hit once in the neck and once in the head. Two other girls were wounded, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

“She wanted to make our women leave their homes for secular education, something the Taliban will never permit," said Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan.

“This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter,” Ahsan added. “We have carried out this attack.”

The Taliban vowed to kill Yousafzai if she survives. The teen, who previously won Pakistan’s National Peace Prize, kept an online diary about her activism. In numerous entries she expressed her fear of the Taliban.

 Three men were arrested in connection with the shooting on Saturday. Police identified them as Qari Inamullah, Obaid Ullah and Abdul Hadi of Akbarpura, a small village near Peshawar. The men are not believed to be the attackers, but they may have had a hand in planning the shooting.


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