A young Pakistani girl famous for her championing of education for girls was shot in the head in front of her classmates on her way home from school today.
Malala Yousafzai was sitting a bus ready to leave the grounds of her school in Mingora in Pakistan’s Swat Valley when a bearded man entered the bus and shot her and another girl.
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have taken responsibility of for the assassination attempt and told a Pakistani newspaper that they will target her again if she survives.
The teenager is widely known and respected for her work to promote the schooling of girls and denouncing the atrocities committed by the Taliban.
Miss Yousafzai is in critical but stable condition and her wounds to her head and neck are not life threatening, Tariq Mohammad, a doctor at the main hospital in Mingora confirmed. The other girl is also stable.
It was Tuesday afternoon when a man approached the school bus and asked which one of the girls was Malala, Rasool Shah, Mingora police chief said.
Malala was pointed out by a girl near her, but after the young activist lied about her identity the gunman shot both of them.
A spokesman for the TTP told Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune that Malala was shot because she was ’secular-minded lady’ and that this should serve as a warning for other young people like her.
Speaking from an undisclosed location, spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that she would not be safe is she survives this ordeal.
Malala, who won the Pakistani National Youth Peace Prize last year, and her family has previously been threatened by the Talibans for her campaigns.
The attack displayed the viciousness of Islamic militants in Swat Valley, an area which has struggled with militant insurgent influence despite military operations.
A recent court case highlights the issues facing young women in Pakistan after the high court ordered a probe into an alleged barter of seven girls to settle a blood feud in the Dera Bugti district of Baluchistan province
A tribal council of the prominent Bugi tribe ordered the barter in early September, the district deputy commissioner, Saeed Faisal, told the court. The ages of the girls have not been confirmed but local media reported they were between 4 and 13 years old.
The tradition of families exchanging unmarried girls to settle feuds is banned under Pakistani law but still practiced in the country’s more conservative, tribal areas.
Source: The Daily Mail