Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Doctors say the operation on Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old Pakistani activist for girls education, was "successful", which allowed the removal of a bullet that had lodged in her head. Yesterday, the young girl was targeted by the Taliban in the Swat Valley, a mountainous area in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan, a stronghold of Muslim extremists against female education. After t surgery this morning, the doctors say her condition is "stable" and for now she is "out of danger", but it was decided to transfer her to hospital in Peshawar - by helicopter - for further treatment.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsab, speaking to the BBC's Urdu program, claimed responsibility for the act, saying they had targeted the girl because she was "against the Taliban" and promoted a "secular" lifestyle. Her activism in favour of education for women, he branded as an "obscenity". He finally declared that, if Reed survives the attack, "she will not be spared."
Meanwhile, the major governments of the world and political leaders in Islamabad have strongly condemned the assault on Malala Yousafzai, shot twice in the head and neck. Her class mate was also was injured, but her conditions are stable and not believed to be life threatening. Washington has condemned it as a "barbaric and cowardly"act, but above all on online protest against fundamentalist violence is sweeping through social media, in just a few hours thousands of people have wanted to send messages of support and solidarity with the girl via the web.
Malala Yousafzai (pictured) was shot while on board the school bus taking her home, after morning lessons. The girl rose to fame in 2009 at the age of 11, with her blog on the local language site of the BBC in which she denounced the attacks by Pakistani Islamists against girls and women's educational institutions, to prevent them from studying and emancipation. Within her virtual diary, Malala finally reported the cruelty of the Taliban and the violence through which they maintain power, terrorizing the local population.
The northwestern border is considered a stronghold of the Taliban, so that in some areas Shariah and the Islamic Courts are active, called in to judge disputes, as well as social behaviors and morality. There are hundreds of schools - even Christian - that have been closed in the Swat Valley, jeopardizing the education of tens of thousands of students and the work of about 8 thousand female teachers. The education of the new generations is one of the key ways for the government to overcome poverty and to ensure genuine development in the nation, as outlined in a special AsiaNews dossier (see Education can stop the Taliban in Pakistan). Among the few realities in the area for some time, a group of Sinhalese Carmelite nuns women dedicated to education (see AsiaNews 22/06/2012 Sinhalese Carmelites educate girls in Pakistan), however, the sisters had to leave after a year and a half because of threats from Islamic fundamentalists.