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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Doctors: Wounded Pakistani Girl Improving

October 19, 2012

by VOA News

British doctors treating a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban say she has been able to stand with help for the first time and is also able to write.

But the medical director of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where Malala Yousafzai, 15, is being treated said Friday she is not yet out of danger. Dave Rosser said doctors are still concerned about a possible infection from a bullet wound in her head.

British television station ITV quotes a hospital spokesman as saying the shooting damaged Yousafzai's brain, but caused no decline in the brain's ability to function. Rosser told reporters that Yousafzai is "communicating very freely and writing," but is unable to speak because of a tracheotomy tube in her throat.

Earlier this week, Malala was transferred from Pakistan to Britain for treatment. Earlier reports had listed her age as 14.

Pakistani Taliban gunmen shot Yousafzai in the head and neck as she returned home from school in the northwestern area of Swat Valley.

She has been internationally recognized for promoting education for girls and documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home in Swat.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for her shooting, saying Yousafzai is pro-West and that she called U.S. President Barack Obama her idol.

Pakistani police have arrested several suspects related to the shooting.

Pakistan has offered a bounty worth about $1 million for the spokesman of the Pakistani Taliban, Ehsanullah Ehsan, after he said his group shot Yousafzai as she left her school on October 9 in Swat.

The shooting has drawn international condemnation.

Hospital officials say Yousafzai's family remains in Pakistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.



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