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. coco

    Brave girl! So glad she's made it! I just hope her people protect her and keep her safe.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. cocopuf

    Frankly, it is the mentality of Taliban. It also shows how vile islam is.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • LOST

      Any religion that considers a woman less than a man is matter how progressive religious reform may lead you to believe it to be, many people in all religions believe and are culturally taught that women are subordinates. This is the real challenge. Men use the womb to enslave all to maintain this ideology. Is there any body of men anywhere who truly know what it means to respect womanhood?

      October 25, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Enjoying my vacation

      To Lost.

      Men do not require a male authored book to teach them that men are superior to women. Men believe that already.

      October 25, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      to know islam go to toutube search for DR.ZAKIR NAIK n listen to his speeches he knows all the religions and quote their references please i also didnt know about ISLAM but now i do

      October 25, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Taliban Buster

    We should round up every member of the Taliban and put them on an isolated desert island surrounded with hundred miles of shark infested water and let them simply kill one another if they don't starve to death first. Anyone else who want to join or become a member, they are immediately deported to the island. They are like a cancer and must be isolated, if not destroyed.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Bohemer

      Who is it "we"? The Americans? Oh pluuueeeease.....

      October 25, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. vk52

    All the might of religious oppressive force cannot equal the free spirit of one single human being.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. LOST

    If members of the Taliban have claimed responsibility for harming this child, and vow to finish the job if she recovers..then it is paramount that her recovery be kept a top secret. She and her family should be moved elsewhere for their protection. She must live. Her safety and future well-being are of utmost importance.

    October 25, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Enjoying my vacation

    Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl, is facing the death penalty in Pakistan for the very same offence that the Taliban acted upon to execute Malala Yousufzai. Both the Taliban and the Pakistan government agree that the penalty for insulting Islam is execution.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. FredKelly

    The guy shoots a little girl in the head for his "religion"...and then botches the job. Is it possible to fail more at life? Taking this guy out now would just be a very late term abortion.

    October 25, 2012 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Premal D.Shah

    After reading and hearing about the public outcry against the Taliban and Al Queda for trying to kill Malala, I feel that moderate Muslims are making their words heard for the first time in a century.That means hope for prosperity, peace and healing for the followers of Islam. May you grown wealthy, express your feelings freely and live a life that Americans live like. You have every right to happiness, Muslims round the world!!!!

    October 25, 2012 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. mmi16

    Malala has more courage balls than all the Taliban combined, they are a disgrace to the human race.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Syed202

    The CNN rules are that it should not be against zionism, and must not clarify the missgivings of western ignorants, about Islam? Isn't it?

    October 25, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. nellie g. cabo

    She is just a Child,but her maturity takes its toll.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Name*DAYA

    Prayers for your healing and blessings. Your loved very much xoxo

    October 25, 2012 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. artvet2

    Great – interesting that the Pakistani police get their bad guys, while the entire might of the U.S. intelligence service can't even decide for weeks if it is evidence to blame a Youtube video for the death of four Americans!

    October 25, 2012 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. osama

    BEFORE 2004 there were no terrorists in Pakistan nor do the Taliban exists but due to the stupid policies of Us of DRONES today there are too many

    October 25, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. kingazuraz

    The cowardly gay taliban is afraid of a little girl.

    October 25, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14