Teenage child rights activist shot in Pakistan - New York News

Teenage child rights activist shot in Pakistan

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A 14-year-old girl who has been championing the education of girls and publicizing atrocities committed by the Taliban was shot in the head.

It happened in the city of Mingora in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley on Tuesday.

Malala Yousufzai was boarding a school bus when a Taliban gunman walked up and opened fire.

Malala was shot in the head and neck but is expected to survive.  One bullet went into her skull but missed her brain.  A second girl was also shot and was in stable condition.

She won international recognition for a blog highlighting Taliban atrocities when the Islamist militants led by a radical cleric burned girls' schools in the Swat Valley.

She was nominated last year for the International Children's Peace Prize by advocacy group KidsRights Foundation.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Malala's work "obscenity."

Tuesday's shooting in broad daylight raised questions about security more than three years after the army claimed to have crushed a Taliban insurgency in the region.

The government is trying to encourage tourism back to Swat, which had once been called the Switzerland and had been popular with vacationers and honeymooners.

When the Taliban occupied the region, they destroyed schools, beheaded opponents and beat women.

The Pakistani military conducted a major operation in 2009 to clear out the insurgents but many of the top leaders escaped.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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