Pakistani Girl Who Defied Taliban Shot in the Head

Malalal Yousafzai

A 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malalal Yousafzai, became a heroine three years ago when she defied the Taliban.

She wrote a diary under a pseudonym which became the basis for a report by the local Urdu language service of the BBC.

In it, she described what was happening in her town of SWAT, which was then under Taliban control.

In early 2009 Malala, then 11 years old, spoke out publicly on television, demanding one thing – an education.

She was on her way to school Tuesday when Taliban assailants approached a van she was in as she sat waiting to go to the school she loved. They asked for her by name and then opened fire, shooting her in the head and wounding two other girls. She is in critical condition.

The Taliban admitted she is young but said that she was promoting Western values.

via McClatchyDC.com

…Claiming responsibility, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, the main faction of Pakistan’s home-grown Taliban, warned that if she survived, it would return to attack her again. Earlier this year the TTP had stated that she was on their hit list for her “secular” views.

“She was young but she was promoting Western culture,” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told local news media, adding that it was a warning to other youngsters.

The Pakistan military supposedly cleared Swat, a district in northern Pakistan, of Taliban in 2009, but the area still has a heavy military presence.

Two girls who were in the van and injured when the gunman opened fire described the attack top local reporters from their hospital beds.

Malala came to the world’s attention when her diary, written under a pseudonym, was the basis for a report by the local Urdu language service of the BBC. In it she described what was happening in Swat, which was then under Taliban control. Then, with the Taliban menace still present, in early

Malala came to the world’s attention when her diary, written under a pseudonym, was the basis for a report by the local Urdu language service of the BBC. In it she described what was happening in Swat, which was then under Taliban control. Then, with the Taliban menace still present, in early 2009 Malala spoke out on television, always sticking carefully to her demand only for schooling.

In a Pakistani television appearance in Swat in early 2009, with Taliban sympathizers in the audience, the then pre-teen Malala had said that: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education. And I am afraid of no-one.”

Malala said then that her ambition was to become a politician. “This country is in crisis and our governments are lazy,” she said…

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