Schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai remains stable in hospital after Taliban shooting

Thursday 18 October 2012 16.19
Schoolgirls in Pakistan have expressed support for Malala
Schoolgirls in Pakistan have expressed support for Malala

Doctors treating the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen have said she remains in a stable condition after spending a third night in a British hospital.

Malala Yousafzai is being treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital where medical staff said they were "pleased with her progress so far".

A spokeswoman for the hospital would not comment on reports that the 14-year-old was last night said to be moving her limbs, saying doctors had to respect patient confidentiality and would release more information when possible.

The hospital said: "The various specialist consultants from both the Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Children's hospitals continue to assess her on a daily basis.

"At this time Malala's family remain in Pakistan."

The schoolgirl was flown to England on Monday after being attacked for promoting the education of girls and criticising the militant group.

A vigil was held for Malala this morning by Women2Gether and the Amina Women's Group outside Birmingham's Council House in Victoria Square.

More than 600 people from around the world have posted messages of support for Malala on the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust website.

Doctors at the hospital, which has a decade's experience of treating British military casualties, are now planning the reconstructive operations needed to treat her horrific injuries.

Dr Dave Rosser, the hospital's medical director, explained experienced surgeons are going over the procedures Malala will need as part of her "prolonged care" on the road to physical and psychological recovery.

"It's obvious that Malala will need reconstructive surgery, and we have international experts in that field, so it's beginning to plan for reconstructive surgery," he said.

The teenager was shot as she rode on a bus home from school with two classmates in Swat in the northwest of Pakistan, in what British Foreign Secretary William Hague described as a "barbaric attack".

Malala was saved by neurosurgeons in a Pakistani military hospital and has since been in intensive care.

She was transferred to the UK by an air ambulance arranged by the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Hague has said: "Malala's bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.

"Our thoughts remain with Malala and her family at this difficult time.

"The public revulsion and condemnation of this cowardly attack shows that the people of Pakistan will not be beaten by terrorists.

"The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism."