Pakistani Police Make Arrests In Shooting Of 14-Year-Old Activist
Police in Pakistan have made arrests in the case of a 14-year-old girl, who was shot and wounded by the Taliban for supporting education for girls and criticizing the fundamentalist Islamic movement, according to officials on Friday.
Malala Yousufzai was injured on her way home form school on Tuesday, along with two girls who were riding in the same car, reports USA Today.
The shooting shocked and horrified people in Pakistan, as well as internationally. The girl has since received an outpouring of support, with the country holding a national day of prayer for her recovery.
The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying that the girl was promoting “Western thinking.” A spokesman for one of the group’s branches in Pakistan revealed Thursday that the group has been plotting for the last two months on how to kill her in a carefully planned attack, saying that her family ignored repeated warnings for her to stop.
While Mingora police chief Afzai Khan Afridi stated that arrests have been made in the case against the shooters of Malala Yousufzai, he declined to say how many people have been detained, or what their role in the shooting was.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik also stated on Friday that the two gunmen responsible for the attack were not among those arrested, but that authorities have discovered the masterminds behind the shooting and are working to arrest all those involved.
NBC News notes that Malala, who was nominated for the 2011 International Children’s Peace Prize, has been upgraded to “satisfactory” condition at a military hospital, where she underwent surgery to remove a bullet lodged in her skull. The 14-year-old activist began writing for the BBC under a pseudonym when she was 11, eventually earning the National Peace Prize in Afghanistan for her articles.
Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa added that Malala Yousufzai is being kept sedated and on a ventilator until doctors decide to take her off. Bajwa added, “Her blood pressure is normal. Heartbeat is normal, and thanks to God, her condition is satisfactory.”
While police in Pakistan work to arrest all those involved in the young girl activists’s shooting, the school that she attended in Mingora, which is owned and operated by her father, reopened on Friday. One of the students, Ayesha Khan, stated, “Although we have gathered here for to pray for Malala, this shows we will keep her mission going.”