Girl Shot By Taliban Can Stand and Communicate

By: NBC News Staff Email
By: NBC News Staff Email

Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, is able to stand with help and communicate, British doctors treating her severe wounds said on Friday, though she still shows signs of infection.

Yousufzai, 15, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban for advocating education for girls, on Monday was flown from Pakistan to receive treatment at a unit at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital that has expertise in dealing with complex trauma cases. The unit has treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

The hospital also said that Yousufzai was 15 years old, not 14 as had been widely reported.

Dr. Dave Rosser, medical director at the hospital, said that the girl was "well enough that she's agreed that she's happy, in fact keen, for us to share more clinical detail."

Rosser said the infection was probably related to the track of a bullet which grazed her head when she was attacked. Because of the infection, Rosser said, "she is not out of the woods yet."

Yousufzai began standing up to the Taliban when she was 11, when the Islamabad government had effectively ceded control of the Swat Valley, where she lives, to the militants.

The attack on Yousufzai and two other girls as they left school was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the her against one of Pakistan's most ruthless Taliban commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

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