Brave Pakistani girl, targeted for speaking out, transferred to U.K. for medical treatment
Pakistan's 14-year-old women's advocate, Malala Yousufzai, was gravely wounded in a Taliban assassination attempt. After receiving treatment in Pakistan in recent days, the government decided to transfer her to a U.K. hospital where she can get "integrated" treatment.
Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl wounded by a Taliban fighter who shot her in her school mini-bus more than a week ago, has been airlifted from Pakistan for advanced rehab and treatment in the United Kingdom.
Malala gained notoriety for her campaign to improve the situation, especially in terms of education, for women in Pakistan in general and the Swat valley in particular, where she's from. The Taliban accused her of promoting secularism, which it deemed sufficient cause for attempting to assassinate her.
The girl was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the BBC reported. Malala had been receiving treatment in Pakistan, but government officials there said doctors suggested she be moved somewhere she could receive specialized care.
"(She should be transferred) to a U.K. centre, which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury," Pakistani officials said, according to the BBC.
The United Arab Emirates provided the medical transport plane. A team of doctors accompanied the girl, who had a bullet removed from her skull in Pakistan, but needed further treatment. The bullet lodged near her spinal cord.
"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement. "Malala's bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all."
According to the BBC, the hospital recently opened a major trauma center specializing in gunshot wounds and head injuries.
Medical Director Dr David Rosser told the BBC Malala could be viewed as a battlefield casualty — and the hospital has years of experience treating military casualties.
The Taliban have threatened to strike at Malala again, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Security at the hospital is expected to be tight.
Malala wasn't the only child hurt in the attack. Two of her classmates were also wounded and are currently receiving treatment in Pakistan.
The Monitor reported that Malala's parents did not make the journey with her.
Pakistanis have rallied across the country in protest against the violent Taliban attack and in support of Malala.
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