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Schoolgirl 'hero' off to UK for treatment

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban gunmen for pushing for girls to be educated has been sent to the United Kingdom for medical treatment, a military spokesman said today.

14-year-old Malala Yousufzai being transported to the United Kingdom for care.

The spokesman said in a statement that 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, whose shooting has drawn widespread condemnation, will require prolonged care to fully recover physically and psychologically.

An air ambulance transporting Yousufzai, provided by the United Arab Emirates, had departed from Islamabad and was heading for the United Kingdom, said the spokesman.

“The panel of doctors recommended that Malala be shifted abroad to a UK centre which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury,” said the spokesman in a statement.

An attack by about 50 militants on a police outpost near the large northwestern city of Peshawar last night highlighted Pakistan’s struggle to contain the Taliban and its allies. At least six policemen were killed.

Yousufzai, a cheerful schoolgirl who had wanted to become a doctor before agreeing to her father’s wishes that she strive to be a politician, has become a potent symbol of resistance against the Taliban’s efforts to deprive girls of an education.

Pakistanis have held some protests and candlelight vigils but most government officials have refrained from publicly criticising the Taliban by name over the attack, in what critics say is a lack of resolve against extremism.

Opponents of Pakistan’s government and military say the shooting is another example of the state’s failure to tackle militancy, the biggest threat to the stability of the nuclear-armed South Asian country. (Reuters)

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