Pakistani girl shot by Taliban making progress in Britain

A 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban is making progress in a British hospital, doctors said onTuesday, as police turned away visitors claiming to be relatives.

Malala Yousafzai was in a stable condition on her first full day in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after being flown to the city in central England on board an air ambulance.

The hospital's medical director David Rosser said she had had a "comfortable night".

"We are very pleased with the progress she's made so far," he told reporters.

"She is showing every sign of being every bit as strong as we've been led to believe.

"Malala will need reconstructive surgery and we have international experts in that field."

He said doctors at the highly specialised hospital -- where British service personnel wounded in Afghanistan are treated -- were beginning to plan for the complex procedures but they would not be carried out in the coming days.

Malala has been assessed by clinicians from the neurosurgery, imaging, trauma and therapy departments, though "very specialist teams" who may become involved further down the line are yet to perform detailed assessments on her injuries, Rosser added.

Malala was shot on a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley last Tuesday as a punishment for campaigning for the right to an education, in an attack which outraged the world.

The teenager had a bullet removed from her skull last week.

Given that she was targeted for assassination by a Taliban gunman, security measures are in place at the hospital.

Rosser said there had been some "irritating incidents" overnight in which people "claiming to be members of Malala's family -- which we don't believe to be true" had turned up.

Birmingham has a 100,000-strong ethnic Pakistani community -- a tenth of the city's population.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said two "well-wishers" were questioned by officers who took their details and turned them away.

"No arrests were made and at no point was there any threat to Malala," he said.

Rosser added: "We think it's probably people being over-curious. They didn't get very far."

Malala came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under the Taliban, the hardline Islamists who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until an army offensive in 2009.

The shooting has been denounced worldwide, including in Pakistan, which is meeting the costs of her treatment.

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that the shooting was an attack on all girls in the country -- and on civilisation itself.

"The Taliban attack on the 14-year-old girl, who from the age of 11 was involved in the struggle for education for girls, is an attack on all girls in Pakistan, an attack on education, and on all civilised people," Zardari said at an economic summit in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's Foreign Office minister for Pakistan, wrote in The Sun newspaper: "The Koran encourages women's education. What's truly obscene is trying to kill a teenager for speaking this truth.

"The Taliban have failed. Malala's message of freedom and equality has now gone global.

"Our duty isn't just to help this little girl. It is to carry on spreading her message."

Pakistan has offered more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers. Nearly 200 people have been detained but most have been released.

On Sunday, around 10,000 people gathered in Karachi for a rally in support of Malala, organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement political party.

But right-wing and conservative religious leaders in Pakistan have refrained from publicly denouncing the Taliban.

They have warned the government against using the attack on Malala as a pretext for an offensive in the militant bastion of North Waziristan.

Print
  • Twitter
  • submit to reddit
comments powered by Disqus
eid
Find the best properties for sale & rent in the UAE
Available on the App StoreAndroid app on Google Play

Most Popular on Emirates 24|7

Poll

What are your plans for the Eid holidays?

Latest jobs available

More jobs on Emirates 24|7

In Case You Missed It ...

eSuggestion eComplain eComplain eSuggestion

Follow
Emirates 24|7

Follow
Emirates 24|7
Pinterest Facebook Facebook Twitter RSS

Your Feedback

Are you satisfied with your browsing experience?