Girl shot by Taliban discharged from UK hospital

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Associated Press

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 4:01 PM

LONDON (AP) — Malala Yousafzai, the teenage Pakistani education activist shot in the head by the Taliban, was discharged from a British hospital Friday after undergoing skull reconstruction and receiving a cochlear implant to restore her hearing.

The 15-year-old had been released for a few weeks in January but re-entered Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital to undergo the latest procedures last weekend. The hospital said Malala is "making good recovery" and will now continue her rehabilitation at her family's temporary home in Birmingham.

Malala was shot by a Taliban gunman on Oct. 9 while on her way home from school in northwestern Pakistan's Swat Valley. The militant group said it targeted her because she promoted "Western thinking." Malala had been an outspoken critic of the Taliban's opposition to educating girls.

The teen was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time; her father, Ziauddin, has secured a post with the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham.

The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and many other countries, and Malala's story increased the global attention for the struggle for women's rights in her homeland. In a sign of her impact, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2012.

In a video statement taped before her latest surgeries, Malala said she was "getting better, day by day" and would continue to campaign for girls' education.

"I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated," she said, speaking clearly but with the left side of her face appearing rigid.

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