Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban because of her activism on girls’ rights, has been airlifted out of the country in an air ambulance and is headed for a UK hospital. Malala was shot in the head and neck while sitting with her classmates on a school bus.
Malala was well-known in her area of Pakistan for her and her family’s advocacy of girls’ education. She and her father, who ran a school for girls, appeared in a 2009 documentary for The New York Times called “Class Dismissed” about the Taliban’s crackdown on education. She had also written an anonymous blog for BBC Urdu at just 11 years old about living under the Taliban as a young girl.
The Taliban has long had Malala in their crosshairs for her feminist activism — which was seen as “against Islamic law” — and claimed responsibility for shooting her and two other girls in cold blood last week. They have already threatened to try and kill Malala again if she does not die from these injuries.
She was initially attended to by physicians at a military hospital, but was flown out of Pakistan this morning to a hospital in the UK that specializes in major trauma in children. The Pakistani government is covering the costs of her treatment.
Four suspects have been arrested for the shooting, but the gunman/gunmen are still at large. Pakistan is offering $100,000 for their capture.
[Photo: International Business Tribune]