Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old who spoke up against the Taliban, remains in hospital after a she was shot by Taliban militants while riding a bus with classmates.
Doctors reported that they had successfully removed a bullet from the girl’s neck during a lengthy surgery Wednesday, but there was no further word on Yousafzai’s condition or on her chances at recovery.
Yousafzai first gained notoriety after she wrote a diary for the BBC’s Urdu service about her experience living under Taliban rule in Pakistan’s Swat district at a time when the repressive rulers forced girls’ schools to close. She later received the country’s first peace prize for her efforts.
The attack prompted citizens to take to the streets Wednesday, condemning the action. Schools in the Swat Valley were closed for the protests and other schoolchildren were urged to pray for Yousafzai’s recovery.
Despite the backlash, Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan took full responsibility for the attack, telling The Guardian: “She was pro-west, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader. She was young but she was promoting western culture in Pashtun areas.”