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Malala, Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Military Hospital

The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.

As we've reported, for years, Malala has been an activist in the Swat Valley, fighting for her chance at an education. In the place where she lived, the Taliban had banned girls from going to school and earlier this week, she was shot in the head by a gunman in retaliation for spreading "secular" thoughts in the area.

CBS News spoke to the surgeon who removed the bullet from Malala's head. He told CBS, she remains uncounscious and on a ventilator.

The network adds:

"The surgeon who operated on her said a high-velocity bullet, shot from close-range, damaged critical areas of her brain. It is not just Malala's survival which is in question, but what kind of survival. The next 24 hours, CBS News has been told, will be critical for the young woman.

"Pakistan's Taliban says it's not done with Malala - there have been reported threats to her family - but governments and ordinary citizens around the world are standing up for her, and for her brave stand in calling for Pakistani girls' right to an education."

The Express Tribune reports that Pakistani authorities have identified two men who allegedly plotted the shooting. The Tribune reports that Interior Minister Rehman Malik also said that the "president has ordered for Malala to be shifted to Germany."

Aleem Maqbool, the BBC's correspondent in Pakistan, visited Malala's school in the Swat Valley. He reports the school is flying its flag at half mast and that the head of a nearby school "says half her pupils haven't attended since attack."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.