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Shot Pakistani girl still on ventilator: military

  • Pakistani school girls pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head in a Taliban assassination attempt, at their school in Peshawar on October 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO / A. MAJEED

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban remained on a ventilator in hospital Saturday, as people continued to pray for her recovery, the military said.

The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right to an education, has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers.

"(The) health condition of Malala continues to remain satisfactory. Her vitals are okay and she is still on ventilator," the military said in an update.

"A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition," it added.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala on Friday, paying tribute to her and two friends who were also wounded when a gunman boarded their school bus on Tuesday and opened fire.

"It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values," he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan's struggle with Islamist militancy.

Military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa Friday said the next 36 to 48 hours would be critical for Malala.

The attack has sickened Pakistan, where Malala won international prominence with a blog for the BBC that highlighted atrocities under the Taliban who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until a 2009 army offensive.

Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to whose who advocate appeasement with the Taliban, but analysts suspect there will be no seismic shift in a country that has sponsored radical Islam for decades.

Schools opened with prayers for Malala on Friday and special prayers were held at mosques across the country for her speedy recovery at the country's top military hospital in the city of Rawalpindi.

 
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