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. Kenneth P

    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

    October 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • petercha

      Colonies of the USA? Is that a joke?

      October 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • RioTexas

      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.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKDSD

      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.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shirley

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |

      What kind words spoken.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    hi im john I am learning about ISLAm & im greately moved by it

    October 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Giant Megaphone

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    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

    October 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. petercha

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Name*John Nganga

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawa

      Yes, it's way up there with those rapping babies and all minors just to make MONEY!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Giant Megaphone

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Kuryk

    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"

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deadhead4ever

    Callaway makes Killer Clubs 🙂

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J

    Also the female gender who is a muslim or supports PURE evil islam must be insane or of mental deficiency.

    So let them be.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hawa

    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!"

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alex

    The Taliban must die.
    That is all.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Deadhead4ever

    Callaway ?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. john

    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.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      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

      October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • GetReal

      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.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnnieMae

      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.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Forge

      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.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jez

      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!!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
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