Malala's father: "She will rise again"

Last Updated 10:44 a.m. ET

BIRMINGHAM, England Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head for defying the Taliban, is recovering "with encouraging speed," according to her father.

Malala is recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was flown for treatment and protection from Taliban threats after she was shot on Oct. 9.

Her father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, flew to the U.K. to be by her side. He said Friday he had feared he would need to prepare for a funeral and called her recovery a "miracle."

"They wanted to kill her. But she fell temporarily. She will rise again. She will stand again. She can stand now," he said.

"I can say that she got the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time."He also expressed gratitude for prayers and well-wishes received from all over the world. "An attacker - who could be called the agent of Satan - he attacked, but after that I found angels at my side, everywhere all around me, until this time in this place," Ziauddin Yousufzai said.

"Everyone, everyone, across the world, they condemned the attack in strong words and they prayed for my daughter, who is not only my daughter, she is the daughter of everybody, the sister of everybody."

Video showed Malala in her hospital bed surrounded by her father, mother and two brothers.

"I love her and last night when we met her there were tears in our eyes out of happiness," Ziauddin Yousufzai said Friday. "We all cried a little bit."

The hospital has been publishing updates on Malala's condition. Staff say she has made what they call a dramatic recovery, considering what she has been through.

Dr. David Rosser, who is treating Malala, said Friday the girl is making very good progress. "All the signs of infection are now gone, we're pleased to say. Really we're very much in a phase of her care which is about recovery, both physical and psychological."

Rosser said the girl has been tired from hearing and vision tests. "That's just to make sure that we're not missing anything," he said. "Obviously with the bullet being close to both ear and eye we're keen to make sure there's no deficit we haven't noticed."

She was airlifted to a hospital in Britain on Oct. 15. The Taliban have vowed to kill her, raising questions about whether it would be safe for her to return but her father rejected reports the family might seek asylum abroad.

Since she was shot, Malala has become a hero both at home and internationally, although her work in speaking out against Taliban atrocities and advocating for girls' education has long been respected and known beyond her native Swat Valley.

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