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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

British Police Question 2 'Well-Wishers' at Pakistani Girl's Hospital

October 16, 2012

by VOA News

Two people wanting to visit a Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban were detained and questioned after stopping by the British hospital where she is recovering.

British police say the two were questioned overnight after claiming to be Malala Yousafzai's relatives and asking to see her at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

No one was arrested and there was no threat to the Pakistani teenager at any time, said a local police spokesman.

Security is a sensitive issue for the 14-year-old. The Pakistani Taliban has continued to threaten Yousafzai's life, after gunmen shot her in the head and neck as she left her school October 9 in northwestern Pakistan. The Taliban say they targeted the child because she spoke out against the militant group.

Yousafzai arrived Monday for treatment in Britain. Pakistani military officials said doctors recommended the girl's transfer to a facility, "which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury."

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital said Yousafzai is in stable condition and has a chance of making a good recovery after the first night of treatment. The hospital issued a statement saying "Malala's ongoing clinical care is now the hospital's priority."

British doctors say Yousafzai's treatment and recovery is expected to take several weeks. Pakistan's government has promised to pay for all expenses related to her treatment.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says the attack on Yousafzai was "an attack on all girls in Pakistan, an attack on education, and on all civilized people." He made the comments at a economic summit in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku.

Yousafzai has been internationally recognized for promoting education for girls and documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home in Swat. Thousands of people in Pakistan have held vigils and protests to show their support for the teenager.

Pakistani police have arrested several shooting suspects in Swat Valley. The Taliban said the girl was targeted because she is "pro-West," has denounced the militant group, and has called U.S. President Barack Obama her idol.

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