Malala Yousufzai's brain damaged in Taliban attack in Pakistan, surgeon says

(CBS News) Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old girl that the Pakistani Taliban tried to kill, remains in critical condition Thursday. Doctors were able to remove a bullet lodged near her spine, but she remains unconscious and on a ventilator.

CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips reports that Malala was being moved by helicopter Thursday to a military hospital with better critical care facilities in Rawalpindi, near the Pakistani capital.

The surgeon who operated on her said a high-velocity bullet, shot from close-range, damaged critical areas of her brain. It is not just Malala's survival which is in question, but what kind of survival. The next 24 hours, CBS News has been told, will be critical for the young woman.

Video: Pakistani girl facing long recovery
Malala Yousufzai "improving" in hospital
Teen Pakistani activist shot by Taliban

Pakistan's Taliban says it's not done with Malala - there have been reported threats to her family - but governments and ordinary citizens around the world are standing up for her, and for her brave stand in calling for Pakistani girls' right to an education.

Judging from the outpouring of support from Pakistani men and women across the country, as Malala clings to life, so does her dream of equality.

Malala had become the personification of women's aspirations in Pakistan, and so a prime target for the Taliban, who don't think women should have aspirations.

"They cannot stop me," Malala once said in an interview. "I will get my education, if it is in-home, school or any place. This is our request to the whole world that (they) save our schools, save our world, save our Pakistan."

It was this kind of brazen defiance of their ideals that the Taliban tried to silence. by shooting Malala.

Officials in the Swat Valley, where Malala lives, say they had offered her protection, but that her father had refused it.

The local government is offering a $104,000 reward for information leading to her attackers.

The driver of the truck she was riding in when she got shot is among those under suspicion. Two other girls were wounded in the attack, one of them is also in critical condition.

The shooting has been condemned around the world, including by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"She was attacked and shot by extremists who don't want girls to have an education, and don't want girls to speak for themselves, and don't want girls to become leaders," said the top U.S. diplomat.

Watch Mark Phillips' report in the video above.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Newsroom