14-year old Malala Yousafzai, who was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011, was shot and seriously injured by the Taliban Tuesday, NBC News reports. The teen and two other girls were fired upon while traveling through the town of Mingora.
Yousafzai won international acclaim for a blog post she wrote — under a pseudonym for the BBC — promoting peace and speaking out against the Taliban in Pakistan. The Pakistani government awarded her a National Peace Award in December, and she even had a school named after her.
The Taliban added Yousafzai to its hit list last year because of her criticism of the terrorist organization, as well as her pro-West sentiments, and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to assassinate the girl.
“We wanted to kill her as she was pro-West, she was speaking against Taliban and more important she was calling President Obama as her ideal. She was young but was promoting a Western culture in the Pakhtun populated areas,” Ihsanullah Ihsan, the spokesman of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said Tuesday.
Yousafzai began blogging under the pseudonym Gul Makai when she was just 11 years old. She wrote about life in the Swat Valley, one of the most dangerous parts of Pakistan. When an edict by the Taliban closed down her school in January 2009, she wrote:
“Since today was the last day of our school, we decided to play in the playground a bit longer. I am of the view that the school will one day reopen but while leaving I looked at the building as if I would not come here again.”
Yousafzai also wrote that her younger brother didn’t like going to school because he was afraid he might be kidnapped. “My brother often prays ‘O God bring peace to Swat and if not then bring either the US or China here,’ ” she wrote.
Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck shortly after leaving school in the Swat region. She was initially being treated at Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital in Mingora, but was later airlifted to a hospital in Peshawar. She is in stable condition.