Doctors find positive signs in Pakistani girl's recovery

(CBS News) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Police in Pakistan said Friday they've made some arrests in the case of Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old who was shot after standing up to the Taliban.

Doctors say the next two days could tell whether she survives.

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Malala has been moved twice to the best military hospitals in Pakistan.

Although she has been unconscious and on a ventilator, scans show the bullet didn't penetrate her brain as deeply as feared. Her chances of pulling through now have improved, said army surgeon Junaid Khan.

"They are fairly good, fairly good chances in this patient. Whether she's going to have any problems with speech or certain technical issues, we'll have to wait and see," he said.

It was Malala's high-profile campaign to guarantee girls an education that put her on the Taliban hit list.

As students around the country prayed for her recovery Friday, candles placed on their desks, Pakistan's prime minister came to the hospital to pay tribute.

"The extremists attacked Malala for what she stands for because they were scared of the power of her vision," Prime Minister Raja Pervaz Ashraf said.

But to demonstrators shouting in the streets of Islamabad, those were empty words.

Pakistanis are used to hearing about acts of violence, especially violence against women. But the attack on Malala has shocked everyone -- even those who thought they were unshockable.

Immediately after the shooting, two other girls who were in that school bus and were injured spoke about what happened. Shazia Ramzan said how armed men stopped the bus that day and demanded "which one is Malala?"

Then, adds Kainat Riaz, they started shooting.

It's a miracle that the gunmen didn't kill these girls, considering they were at close range.

Malala now needs round-the-clock military protection as she fights to recover. The Taliban have already vowed they'll be back to finish the job.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."

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