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. Clear and Present Thinker

    Glad to see progress on the medical and investigative fronts. Some of the American Taliban would see this incident as an attempt to reduce education costs while continuing the war on women.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbmart1312

      what the???? You have serious issues!

      October 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kite005

    Is RAWA still active in the area?

    October 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      Oh I see they are but now they hate the U.S. also. I think they used to like us.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnnieMae

      No, it was killed last October

      October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matty

    Women are smarter then men. That's why men keep them down.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • tex

      Or maybe it is senseless comments like yous that sets em off.We are all stupid and brainwashed.Some obviously more than others.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The correct English would be "smarter THAN," genius lady. Anyway, your point is also bigoted and biologically untrue.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matty

      @tex Your response to women are smarter then men shows how much you hate women.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      Smarter doesn't even make sense, standing on it's own.

      Please go read about Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. You might actually learn something.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matty

      I love this. You put women are smarter than men and all the women haters come out of the wood work.

      October 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buster

      @Matty So if someone said men were smarter than women the only people to stand against that would be the men haters coming out of the woodwork?

      October 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. slowbro

    Is CNN trying to hide this story????
    A series of internal State Department emails shows that officials reported within hours of last month's deadly consulate attack in Libya that Al Qaeda-tied group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility.
    The emails provide some of the most detailed information yet about what officials knew in the initial hours after the attack. And it again raises questions about why U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, apparently based on intelligence assessments, would claim five days after the attack that it was a "spontaneous" reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film.
    Ansar al-Sharia has been declared by the State Department to be an Al Qaeda-affiliated group. A member of the group suspected of participating in the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi has been arrested and is being held in Tunisia.
    The emails were sent by the State Department to a variety of national security platforms, whose addresses have been redacted, including the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence.
    An estimated 300 to 400 national security figures received these emails in real time almost as the raid was playing out and concluding. People who received these emails work directly under the nation’s top national security, military and diplomatic officials.

    The timestamps on the emails are all Eastern Time and often include the subheading SBU, which is shorthand for “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

    October 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      So, how do you feel about Malala getting shot?

      October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      So, how do you feel about Malala?

      October 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tex

    Humm Lives in swat valley ,studying for his Masters Degree in CHEMISTRY!!!! Still think we ought to stop going after these insane people that the so called pakistan government refuses to do anything about.Probably some members are even helping them.I am telling you Pakistan is a wild scary place 100 nukes.Think about that for awhile .What he should be studying is ethics and morality.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Syed Sharful Anam

    Malala is not merely a symbol.Malala Yousufzai is an active fighter. She fights with a pen which is mightier and sharper than a sword.She has since been shot by some fanatics .The entire world is praying for her early recovery.Believe me, ,Malala will recover and go back to Swat to finish the job she had started alone at a very tender age.She will not be alone then.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JohnnyDH

    This poor woman was shot because someone didn't like a YouTube video. Nothing else going on here.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr. Hand

    I guess now they know who to throw the parade for, for this attempted honor killing.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nicole Chardenet

    The Big Bad Taliban. So scared of girls.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J-Lo

    Emails detail unfolding Benghazi attack

    Where is the above headline and corresponding story on your website? It’s absolutely abdominal that this story is not covered as the lead on both CNN TV and the website.

    A United States ambassador is dead. Several members of the executive branch, including the President, for two weeks fed the world, the media and US Citizens a bogus narrative. Now we discover the White House, State Department and CIA all knew the storming of the US Embassy in Benghazi was a terrorist attack while the event was occurring and CNN doesn't deem this newsworthy? Seriously? It's flabbergasting.

    One can only surmise that CNN has become MSNBC. Grow a spine. Question authority – right or left – consequences be damned.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Wrong article. This one's about a young girl who got shot trying to get an education.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Norm

    Given the way Republicans are going, this may be their model for dealing with lady issues. Does anyone seriously doubt that Republicans didn't want to put a bullet in Sandra Fluke's head? Want birth control ladies? Here, have a bullet instead.

    And if the American Taliban doesn't like this comparison, then stop trying to ban everything for the sake of your god.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bigwilliestyles

    A very special young lady. Go Malala!

    October 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. william

    Interested in chemistry, eh? Maybe strap him down and pour some hydrocloric acid down his GD throat. If he survives that, bury what's left of him alive.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matty

    God doesn't exist.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ping Pong

    I am happy she is doing better and that the man that did this to her is not running free anymore.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
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