Pakistan’s military says it has arrested 10 Taliban fighters responsible for shooting Malala Yousafzai, a teenage rights activist campaigning for girls’ education two years ago.
The head of the army’s press wing, Asim Bajwa, said on Friday that 10 attackers had been arrested during a joint operation involving the army, police and intelligence agencies.
The 10-member group had a hitlist of 22 targets in addition to Malala, all ordered by the Taliban’s current leader Maulana Fazlullah, Bajwa told the Reuters news agency.
Yousafzai, was shot in the head in October 2012, for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls education.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for shooting Malala and injuring two other schoolgirls in the attack.
Yousafzai was with her classmates in a school van when unidentified men stopped the vehicle, asking if it belonged to Yousafzai’s school.
One of the gunmen then asked: “Where is Malala?”
As she was identified, the assailant reportedly drew a pistol and shot her in the head and neck. Two other girls on the bus were also wounded. They were treated for their injuries at a nearby hospital.
After narrowly surviving the assassination bid, Malala was airlifted to Britain for treatment, and has since become a symbol of defiance in the fight against the Taliban operating in Pashtun tribal areas in the country’s restive northwest.
Now based in Britain, she is unable to return to her homeland because of Taliban threats to kill her and her family members.
Malala has won the European Union’s human rights award and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Al Jazeera