Arrests made in shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai was able to stand up and communicate on Friday, October 19.
October 24th, 2012
10:40 AM ET

Arrests made in shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala

[Updated at 5:55 a.m. ET] Six people have been arrested in connection with the shooting of Malala Yousufzai, the teenage activist who spoke out against the Taliban, though the main suspect still is on the loose, Pakistani police told CNN exclusively.

Police on Wednesday identified Atta Ullah Khan, a 23-year-old from the Swat district where Malala was attacked, as the main suspect. Authorities are searching for Khan, who was studying for a master's degree in chemistry, police say. The Taliban-heavy Swat Valley is in the northwestern part of Pakistan.

Six men accused of facilitating the attack were arrested, police said Wednesday. Also detained were Khan's fiancée, mother and brother, though they aren't accused of involvement in the attack, police said.

It's unclear whether Khan was at the scene and tried to shoot Malala or if he was considered the leader behind the plan to kill her.

Malala, who has become a global symbol of courage after being shot in the head by the Taliban for demanding education for girls, is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Birmingham, England.

She stood with the aid of nurses Friday for the first time since the October 9 shooting and was "communicating very freely," according to the director of the hospital.  Malala can't speak because she has a tracheotomy tube inserted to protect her airway, which was swollen after her gunshot injury, but she is writing coherent sentences, said Dave Rosser, director of University Hospitals Birmingham.

Friday's progress report - more detailed than previous updates - suggests that the 15-year-old could make a good recovery.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the shooting and vowed to kill Malala if she recovers from her injuries.

Read more on Malala's story:

Attack on Pakistani schoolgirl galvanizes anti-Taliban feeling

Standing with Malala: Teen inspires others to fight for education

Malala: Global symbol, but still just a kid

$1 million bounty in Malala’s attack

The Malalas you'll never meet

soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. sean

    It is funny how people can just come to a conclusion after hearing it in the news. Frankly speaking, the girls school was in a Taliban area for the past 15 years without any incident from Taliban. All the incidents in that region were innocent people being killed by American Drones. There was a HUGE protest against the drones just 2 days before shooting Malala. I cant think of any better idea from the americans to reinforce the use of the drones in that region. And I can't think of a worse idea from the taliban to ristrict the girls education like the news media claims that the taliban claims to do.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nthoma

    John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    follow Jesus not religion.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Every messenger of God was the to truth, if any nation of Prophet followed their messenger on the time they could reach the paradise. so Jesus teaching on that time could take you to heaven so for Mosese, Abraham and so on and the last and final messenger prophet Muhammad peace be upon them all.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Jesus is dead. Died about 2000 years ago. Nobody knows what he really said...the bible was rewritten in the 1600's. Wake up.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Radgast

      The bible wasn't even written or should we say assembled for hundreds of years after
      Jesus lived. Now had it been a book written by Jesus, well that would be something else.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • intruth23

      Jesus is very much alive and well and sits at God's right hand making intercession for us.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • desert voice/troubledgoodangel

      Jesus is His religion! Which means that your statement makes no sense! Our Christian religion is the religion of the Truth, the Way, and the Life! Yu can't follow those "without Jesus"!

      October 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LivingOnAKnifeEdge

    Whilst I wish her a full and speedy recovery, I wonder whether some how she and her family will end up living in the UK ?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pensimmon

      I sincerely hope that she does. They can certainly seek political asylum and will surely get it. The UK is very supportive of people like Malala.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BD70

      Not every person wants asylum. She may go back to continue her fight against the taliban banning girls from school.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mike feliciano.

    We shall see how long this is followed and what if any prosecution is given I smell a temporary charge.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    I feel for the young lady, but how is this one particular instance worse than what goes on daily, here, in the United States?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katy

      Because 14 year old girls are shot in the head in the United States for wanting to learn to read and write? Never happened here once. Not shot in the head, not doused with acid, not shamed and intimidated through fear and violence for wanting an education. Dangerous maniacs are everywhere, including here. But this girl was targeted by grown men who know that an educated slave is not a slave for much longer

      October 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. shortyb

    It is very interesting to hear all the varied view points here. For all of you who do not know a thing about the Muslim religion and obviously believe everything you hear from CNN and Fox News shame on you..Why don't you learn something new before opening your mouth. For those that have no religion who cares what you think this topic is out of your element. This kind of terrorism happens every single day in any given city in America and not by Muslims. If you did your homework you would know how many similarities there are between Muslim faith and Christianity. Yes there are EXTREMISTS they are called terrorists in come in every Gender and walk of life.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • coexist

      "For those that have no religion who cares what you think this topic is out of your element."

      Therein lies the root to all of this. You think differently than I do so your beliefs are invalid. Some express this with indifference, others with violence and both lead to our current state of affairs.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katy

      There are a lot of similarities between Islam now and Christianity of 500 years ago. I don't mean that to be glib- it is true. At that time Christian Europe meant to take over the world, dominate and exterminate anyone who did not conform and they did it all with the zealots gleam in their eye. The state endorsed radical Christianity of the 1500 thought they had devine blessing , the secret to everything and it was all for the unbelievers good to come into the Church. Sounds familiar?

      October 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike feliciano.

    Knock knock (America)
    (Pakistan) who is there?
    (America) looking for osama
    (Pakistan) silly He no here!..
    ... Can't trust them.....

    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. guido ambrosi

    pakistan will try them and a week after the trial they will it will be reported that they have so called escaped. back to their old ways. this is pakistani justice.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ali S

    The fact that a guy who's pursuing a master's degree in chemistry has the conscience to shoot a 14-year-old girl for supporting girls' rights to education is an indication of how far deep the abyss these guys are.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AJ

    I think its really funny that this girl is fighting for the more rights for women in a taliban dominated area (which, dont get me wrong, i totally agree with what shes doing, and what happened to her is tragic) but she still has her hair covered in the picture.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      And what really is your point? I mean, if every woman should be free to go naked, why shouldn't another woman be free to cover herself? It's her choice to cover her hair.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old enough

      One step at a time.... Education first... the rest will follow.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. justwrong1

    Chemistry, Hmmm, He's the Taliban's future Bomb King, How Nice for them because it's not like Pakistan is going to prosecute the man, he'll get a hand-slap and go back to Killer Training, DAH.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. whocares

    Nice. Idiot taliban guy wearing a Callaway Golf hat.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. capnmike

    Castrate 'em.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lori

    Yep, cut the dude's balls off...

    October 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. frank rizzo

    If proven guilty, anything short of execution for these thugs is bogus. Light 'em up!

    October 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
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