Taliban shoot teenage girl for criticising their rule
BBC blogger Malala Yousafzai, 14, wounded in head and neck after militant shoots her on school bus
A 14-year-old Pakistani campaigner who fought for girls rights in education has been shot by the Taliban.
Malala Yousafzai, was on her way home from school when she was attacked, receiving wounds to the head and neck. According to The Guardian, she is alive but doctors warn her injuries are extremely serious.
A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has already claimed responsibility for the attack.
Yousafzai rose to prominence in 2009 after writing a diary for BBC Urdu on life under the Taliban, who took over the Swat Valley where she lived in 2007.
She began writing her diary aged 11, publishing under her pen name, Gul Makai. She was praised for her courage at speaking out against the Taliban’s brutality and her focus on the banning of girls education.
Yousafzai went on to win a national award for bravery and was also nominated for an international children's peace award. Her real identity was only revealed after the Taliban had been driven out of Swat by the Pakistani army.
Ehsan told the BBC that they attacked her because of her anti-Taliban and secular writing, adding that her work was an “obscenity”.
Fazal Maula Zahid, a member of Swat Qaumi Jirga, a local anti-Taliban group working for peace, said the gunman had approached her school bus and asked which of the girls was Malala before opening fire. A girl who was with Yousafzai was also injured in the attack.
Since they were ejected, there have been examples of Taliban insurgency in Swat but the region has largely remained stable.
In a statement responding to the attack, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said: "We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it... Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?"