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Pakistanis, U.N. pay tribute to girl shot by Taliban

MINGORA, Pakistan Pakistani students and rights activists are paying tribute to a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman last month for promoting girls' right to education and being an outspoken critic of the militant group.

After the Oct. 9 shooting, Malala Yousufzai was airlifted to a hospital in Britain where she is being treated and is making a steady recovery.

Malala is one of the most prominent voices to speak out against the Taliban in Pakistan. Nearly 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for her to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Pakistan marked "Malala Day" on Saturday - a global day of support for the teenager shot for promoting girls' education.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a video message, saying Malala is a global symbol of every girl's right to education.

On Friday U.N. special education envoy and former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown handed a separate, million-strong petition in support of Malala to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

In her hometown of Mingora in the northwestern Swat Valley, hundreds of students on Saturday prayed for her early recovery and vowed to continue her mission. Security fears prevented her schoolmates from honoring her in public.

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