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Pakistani girl shot by Taliban leaves U.K. hospital

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 4, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.

— A 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education has been released from a Birmingham hospital to live with her family, doctors said Friday.

Photographs and a video released by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham showed Malala Yousufzai hugging nurses, waving and smiling shyly. Her steps seemed tentative as she walked down the hospital corridor talking to nurses, the injured side of her face deftly turned from the lenses. But hospital officials say she is strong and recovering well.

Malala will live with her parents and two brothers in the UK while she continues to receive treatment, but will be admitted again in the next month for another round of surgery to rebuild her skull.

Experts have been optimistic that Malala, who was airlifted from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care, has a good chance of recovery because the brains of teenagers are still growing and can better adapt to trauma.

“Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery,” said Dr. Dave Rosser, the medical director for University Hospitals Birmingham. “Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.”

The Taliban targeted Malala because of her relentless objection to the group’s regressive interpretation of Islam that limits girls’ access to education. She was returning home from school in Pakistan’s scenic Swat Valley on Oct. 9 when the militants shot her for criticizing their efforts to keep girls from getting an education.

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