Shot Pakistani girl appears on video

Last updated 01:30 05/02/2013

15-year-old Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, has undergone successful surgery at a British hospital. Deborah Gembara reports.

LONG RECOVERY: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, centre, smiles with nurses as she is discharged from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital earlier this month.
LONG RECOVERY: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, centre, smiles with nurses at Queen Elizabeth Hospital before her latest surgery.

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A Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, saying she is recovering.

Speaking clearly but with a slight stiffness in her upper lip, 15-year-old Malala Yousefzai said that she was "getting better, day by day."

The video statement was published Monday, just hours after Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said they had successfully operated to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing.

A team of doctors carried out a five-hour operation on Saturday on Malala, who was shot in October and brought to Britain for treatment.

The procedures carried out were cranial reconstruction, aimed at mending parts of her skull with a titanium plate, and a cochlear implant designed to restore hearing on her left side, which was damaged in the attack.

"Both operations were a success and Malala is now recovering in hospital," said a statement on Sunday from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, where she is being treated.

The girl's condition was described as stable and the statement said her medical team were very pleased with the progress she has made. "She is awake and talking to staff and members of her family," it added.

The attack on Yousufzai, who was shot in the head at point blank range as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation.

She has become an international symbol of resistance to the Taliban's efforts to deny women education and other rights, and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Yousufzai will now continue recuperating at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, which has a specialist unit where doctors have treated hundreds of soldiers wounded in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the hospital statement said.

- Reuters and AP

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