14-year-old rights activist from Pakistan shot

October 9, 2012 • Asia/Pacific, News

The following article reports on Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old girls rights activist from Pakistan. She has apparently been shot by assailants in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. She had rose to international prominence by keeping a diary for the BBC’s Urdu service under a pen name, circa 2009, exposing the suffering caused by the Taliban militants as they ruled over her hometown and adjacent areas. She is, thankfully, expected to survive.

Malala Yousafzai: Pakistan activist, 14, shot in Swat
See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19882799

A 14-year-old rights activist who has campaigned for girls’ education has been shot and injured in the Swat Valley in north-west Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora, the region’s main town.

Nominated for an international peace award, she came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban.

Taliban militants overran Swat before being ejected by the army that year.

It is unclear if the girl was the target of the attack, but she has been threatened in the past.

She was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded.

One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.

But a police official also told BBC Urdu that unidentified gunmen opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus.

Initial reports say she was hit in the head or neck area but is now in hospital and is reportedly out of danger. Another girl who was with Malala at the time was also injured.


Malala Yousafzai was just 11 when she was writing her diary, two years after the Taliban took over the Swat Valley, and ordered girls’ schools to close.

In the diary, which she kept for the BBC’s Urdu service under a pen name, she exposed the suffering caused by the militants as they ruled.

She used the pen-name Gul Makai when writing the diary. Her identity only emerged after the Taliban were driven out of Swat and she later won a national award for bravery and was also nominated for an international children’s peace award.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19882799

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