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Pakistani teen now in UK

Pakistani teen now in UK Women supporters of a Pakistani religious group 'Minhaj-ul-Quran' hold a poster of 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai. (AP)

Mon, October 15, 2012 - 9:49 AM

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — A teenage Pakistani activist shot in the head by the Taliban arrived in the United Kingdom on Monday for more specialized medical care and to protect her from follow-up attacks threatened by the militants.

The attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai as she was returning home from school in Pakistan's northwest a week ago has horrified people across the South Asian country and abroad. It has also sparked hope that the Pakistani government would respond by intensifying its fight against the Taliban and their allies.

Malala was targeted by the Taliban for promoting girls' education and criticizing the militant group's behavior when they took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived. Two of her classmates were also wounded in the attack and are receiving treatment in Pakistan.

The Taliban have threatened to target Malala again until she is killed because she promotes "Western thinking."

Malala, who had been receiving treatment at a Pakistani military hospital, arrived in Britain this afternoon. Pakistan's military had said a panel of doctors recommended that Malala be shifted to a center in the United Kingdom that has the ability to provide "integrated" care to children who have sustained severe injuries.

"It was agreed by the panel of Pakistani doctors and international experts that Malala will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received," the military said in a statement.

Malala will be taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in central England, which is also home to the Royal Center for Defense Medicine, according to British Prime Minister David Cameron's office.

The Royal Center is the primary receiving unit for military casualties returned from overseas, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is designated as one of the country's 16 major trauma centers which specialize in treating severe gunshot wounds, major head injuries and road accident victims.

The hospital said a senior medical director is expected to provide an update on the girl's condition following an initial assessment later Monday.

Malala was flown out of Pakistan on Monday morning in a specially equipped air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates, the Pakistani military said.

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