[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 wereÂ Khan's fiancÃ©e, mother and brother, though they aren't accused of involvement in the attack, police said.
It's unclear whetherÂ 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.Â 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 Malalaâ€™s attack
The main culprit behind Malala attack is apparently hiding in Afghanistan or India. Both are colonies of USA. Why don't we hand them over to Pakistan
Colonies of the USA? Is that a joke?
Since when is India a colony of the US? And although we are present in Afghanistan, we and the Afghan government lack control of the entire region.
It is shocking that you make the US a player in this situation.
Ken, your GPS is screwed up. From NWPF – India is like California from New York where as Afghanistan is just across the street. And knowing every one too well in that part of the world he may be in the same area sipping his tea.
May they catch the other coward that who shot this poor girl out of complete ignorance.
In addition, I would comment on the negative remarks to Islam. I am ignorant of it, I will say that first, I do not know the teachings, but I do know people who practice Islam and they are not bad or crazy. This was done by extremist, every religion has them.
What kind words spoken.
hi im john I am learning about ISLAm & im greately moved by it
The men that do these acts are cowards and hide behind women's dresses and little girls.
They are afraid of a little girl.... They shoot a bus full of children. Children that can not fight back.
TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM GO TO YOUTUBE type Dr.ZAKIR NAIK & just listen to his Speeches all the misconception about ISLAm will be Finished He even know about BIBLE more than any of christian
DR.ZAKIR NAIK speeches most Recommended it moved me as well
Although most Muslims are good and do not obey all the teachings of islam, there are are few that take all the teachings of islam very seriously, especially the violent teachings, and sadly, they do things like this.
That was one very cheap shot! Pointing a gun and actually shooting a minor all 'In the name of God' was the worst level any believer in any religion would possibly fall to.
Yes, it's way up there with those rapping babies and all minors just to make MONEY!
This comes down to a grown man shooting a little girl with no means to defend herself.
That makes him a coward no matter what religion he practices.
Only a "human" in a very deep consensus trance as a result of severe indoctrination could believe killing a girl for any reason is a good thing.
Learn more from the YouTube video, "Malala to Madonna"
Callaway makes Killer Clubs ðŸ™‚
Also the female gender who is a muslim or supports PURE evil islam must be insane or of mental deficiency.
So let them be.
These men do not follow the Koran; otherwise, they would have known that Islam emphasizes the seeking of knowledge to all of humanity. They are criminals and should be treated as such. The ten commandments apply to all of humanity and clearly state "THOU SHALL NOT KILL!"
The Taliban must die.
That is all.
Why would there cowardly bottom feeders be running and hiding, they claim to be proud of their attacks against children who are already smarter then they are. Every day I read the news from around the world, and it's another confirmation that religion (not just Islam) should just die.
im learning ISLAM its not a bad RELIGION GO to YOUTUBE & listen to Dr.ZAKIR NAIK speeches he is a orator and knows about every religion and Quotes their verses
I can't stand how people say all religion should be ended. Yes, there are bad people in all religions, but you do not see this type of conduct from Christians, Mormons and the like. It's Islam. Islam Islam Islam. If wars could be fought today how they used to be, much of are problems would be solved. Unfortunately for some reason, today's society is so soft, weak and sensitive it's disgusting.
I say they be publicly stoned to death so they can feel the pain of this young girl and her family. These guys are just ignorant adolescents who need to be treated as adult criminals for adult crimes and crimes against humanity and their God.
Indoctrination aka brainwashing into thinking they are a gay guy who likes africans. That would be a fitting punishment. Do this for ALL captured terrorists everywhere and the appeal of it will dry up real quick like.
You know what I find particularly disgusting?... This jihad FREAK is wearing a baseball hat – what is more USA than Baseball?? What a bunch of punk, losers! Attacking a girl with 5+ of your PUNK buddies and shooting a teenaged girl. Islam is soooooooo messed up!!!!