Taliban assassins yesterday attacked 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, leaving the girl with a bullet wound in the head. Yousufzai, winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Award, was targeted because she has been an outspoken advocate of education for girls. The attack occurred as she was making her way home from school in Mingora, the region’s largest city. Doctors at the hospital in Mingora said the young victim should recover, but Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan — the Pakistani Taliban — vowed that the group would target her again if she survives. Two other girls also were injured.
Here is a New York Times profile of Yousufzai and her family created in 2009, when she was only 11 years old. At the time, some 200 schools for girls were being closed across Pakistan in areas under control of the Taliban. The closures included a school run by Yousufzai’s father, who expressed great sadness over the edict while also refusing to leave the Swat Valley.