US condemns attack on Pakistani girl

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 07:00 hrs

Washington, Oct 10 (IANS) The US government Tuesday condemned the attack on a Pakistani girl who has received peace award for her courage to stand against the militants in her hometown, Xinhua reported.

"We strongly condemn the shooting of Malala (Malala Yousafzai)," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland at a regular briefing, adding: " Directing violence at children is barbaric."

"It's cowardly. And our hearts go out to her and the others who were wounded, as well as their families," she told reporters.

The 14-year-old girl, Pakistan's first National Peace Award winner, was shot and seriously injured by unidentified gunmen in the country's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday.

She was on her way home from school when an attacker wearing police uniform stopped the school bus and opened fire at her. In the attack, the girl was seriously wounded, while two other girls incurred slight injuries.

Doctors in Swat valley said Yousufzai was out of danger after the bullet penetrated her skull but missed her brain.

Taliban later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they would target her again if she survives because she was a "secular-minded lady".

The girl received fame in Pakistan and abroad due to her struggle for restoration of peace in Swat area.

When Taliban banned education for females in the district, she not only continued her education but also raised voice for women and children's rights by writing letters to foreign radio stations and newspapers.

The international children's advocacy group Kids Rights Foundation nominated her for the International Children's Peace Prize, making her the first Pakistani girl nominated for the award. She was awarded Pakistan's first National Peace Award in December of 2011.

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