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Malala Yousufzai, peace activist, survives Taliban attack

Translated Thursday 11 October 2012, by Kristina Wischenkamper and reviewed by Bill Scoble

On Tuesday, Malala Yousufzai narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She was hit by bullets in the head and shoulder. This young Pakistani girl of 14 years of age became known internationally in 2009 for her blog on the BBC Urdu site denouncing the violence perpetrated by the Taliban, who had been burning girls’ schools and murdering those who opposed them in the Swat Valley, and its surrounding areas, since 2007.

Malala Yousufzai was attacked in broad daylight on Tuesday by fighters from the Taliban Movement of Pakistan (TTP), allied to Al-Qaeda in Mingora, the main town in the Swat valley, which was retaken by the army from Islamist rebels in 2009 . Local doctors had first thought that her condition was "stable" since the bullet that hit her head had not penetrated to the brain; however doctors at the Peshawar hospital, the largest city in the north-west, where she was subsequently transferred, later described her condition as "critical".

On Wednesday morning, according to a senior military official, surgeons had removed a bullet from the shoulder of the winner of the first National Peace Prize created by the Pakistani government last year. Should her condition worsen, a Boeing 737 from PIA Pakistan is on standby to transport Malala from Peshawar airport to abroad, the most likely destination being Dubai, airline chief, Junaid Yusuf, told Agence France Presse.

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