Malala Yousafzai was attacked as she made her way home from school with a friend who was also injured. A Pakistani Taliban spokesman has said they are responsible for the attack.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
There are differing accounts of events. Some say bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.
But a police official said unidentified gunmen opened fire on the schoolgirls as they were about to board a van or bus.
Yousafzai was hit in the head and, some reports say, in the neck as well. She was taken to hospital and is now making a recovery,
The teenager was targeted after coming to public attention in 2009 when she wrote a diary, published by BBC Urdu under a pen name, about life under Taliban militants who had taken control of the valley.
One entre mentions the Taliban’s decree which banned girls’ education: “Since today was the last day of our school, we decided to play in the playground a bit longer. I am of the view that the school will one day reopen but while leaving I looked at the building as if I would not come here again.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said: “We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it… Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?”
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