Suspects Arrested in Taliban Shooting of Pakistani Schoolgirl

October 25, 2012  

The main suspect in the shooting of Malala Yousufzai, the teenage activist who spoke out against the Taliban, has been identified and arrested, Pakistani police said Wednesday.

A group of men who allegedly facilitated the attack against the 15 year-old schoolgirl have also been arrested, police said.

Atta Ullah, a 23-year-old chemistry student from the Taliban-heavy Swat district in northwestern Pakistan where Malala was attacked, was identified as the main suspect, CNN reported.

The suspect’s fiancée, mother and brother have also been arrested.

It remains unclear as to whether Ullah was at the scene of the attack and tried to shoot Malala or if he was considered to be the leader behind the plan to kill her, CNN reported.

Malala, who has become a global symbol of courage after being shot in the head by the Taliban as a result of advocating education for girls, is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Birmingham, England.

She is currently unable to speak because a tracheotomy tube has been inserted to protect her airway, which was swollen after the gunshot injury. However, doctors have said that she “remains in a stable condition and continues to make good progress.”

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the shooting and vowed to kill Malala if she recovers from her injuries.

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