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. TaliManHide

    Look at these cowards. First they shoot a little girl. Now they run. Crush them.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • osama

      american ********* are killing innocent women & childern in DRONES & that has cost USA 16 trillion DOLLARS
      USA ********** wat if a TERRORISt went in WHITE HOUSE CIA will use DRONE strike on WHITE HOUSE killing the usa ********* PRESident????????

      October 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RELIGION_is_the_root_of_all_evil

    Cleary, religion is the key problem with the world now. Well, it's 2012. Can't we all agree it's ridiculous to govern our lives by fairy tale?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • GetReal

      I'm praying for you

      October 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Forge

      I think you mean fundamentalists are the root of all evil. I call them 'fundies'.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jez

      Too right. Religion makes fools of all of the religious.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Enjoying my vacation

    What about the Christian girl Rimsha Masih? When is Pakistan going to drop the absurd blasphemy charges against her. They are forcing her to face the death penalty which makes them no different from the Taliban.

    And if you believe the charges were already dropped, think again.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnnieMae

      Those who commit these crimes are no children of any GOD! They are just animals who need to be exterminated.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 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 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      If it's not a bad religion then what kind of religion is it? We can only go by their actions, and those actions are a disgrace to humanity.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • GiggleFart

      An understandable, if short-sighted sentiment. The media doesn't cover any stories about Muslim charity, because that won't sell adds, and in case none of you have noticed the #1 priority of all media networks is to make money. This isn't a religious problem, though both Muslims and the rest of the world often confuse it as such. This is an Arab culture problem, and the Quran specifically disavows those who harm children.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LetsBeCivil

    and this is the Media's fault?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • justwrong1

      You Can Make Change If You Don't Take A Stand, Unfortunately The Media Is The Only Route, Reality Bites.
      God Bless This Girl, I Hope She Continues To Stoke The Fires!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • modman

      that's nonsense. Why do you think so many people even in Muslim countries are so affected by this girl's story? Because they have seen similar tragedies all around them. THAT is why she is striking such a chord. If you see someone take a stand in person are you no less affected by it than if you saw it on TV or in the paper?

      There are a million opportunities to "take a stand" all the time – some of those stories make national/international news, some don't. It's just about scale.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
    • tm1946

      I do not think so. But those in the media who are willing to discount the actions of those they have an interest in "dealing with" should not sleep well. It is not the media, but some of those in the media.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dr. Jon Hatcher

    John, Religion is not the culprit. All sense of good and bad, right and wrong, as well as values, are based upon standards in the various religions. Lunatics, quoting scripture, are the real threat. Folks of all the major belief processes are living their lives, loving others, ...helping others. That is the standard, i.e., not a violent reactionary.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • tm1946

      In the most general sense, a lot of truth. Unfortunately, when you have good and bad, two positions so opposed to each other and one side willing to die then the other side must stand up and be willing to sacriface to the point of dieing to stop the other.

      Currently, I doubt that resolve in America. For as long as I can remember, we tried to do right. But something changed with Vietnam and it is still hanging on. We mouth the right thing but we no longer have the willingness to die for what is right. Therefore, simply put, they win.

      Not elequent enough but we are losing what made us great with people like the current Pres. and his beliefs. Nice guy, "can't we just get along" type, "we are no better than anyone else".....a truly sick point of view when you consider how many died in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the current areas of conflict.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sagebrush Shorty

    Takes a really brave freedom fighter to shoot a kid.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GetReal

    Lol what's this Osama dude saying? Is it bin laden from the grave!?!?!? Let us worry about our debt my friend, you worry about dodging those drones.....

    October 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lovUSA

    I wish CNN and other American media would have given same coverage to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens but that news of attack on embassy with 4 killed Americans was kept in low light and was not given any weight age at all by the media.
    Instead they kept and opened a whole column and section for this girl everyday since she was shot. This girl case is no more than a PR job for Pakistani govt., ISI, Pakistani army and Pakistani people.
    I It is ironic and sad to see how the media can be biased and can give value to the articles which can give them mileage or political gains to their supported parties. Prima facie this all was done to take away the attention from administrations inability to handle and control the situation and the failure to protect US interests in Libya.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kite005

    Maybe they will track him down and he'll put up a fight and they can put a hole right in the O of golf and maybe another in the O of Calloway.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. artvet2

    Yep, folks, you are witnessing the fall of the U.S. media. More coverage to this poor girl and models dresses than the killing of a U.S. ambassador and three other officers, let alone an attack on U.S. territory. And if Obama wins, we will see more decline and transformation of America into a 2nd class country.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      Gee thats funny when it was under Bush's watch that things got nasty. And now people say that we can no longer blame Bush. Well we sure can and at the same time take credit for the turnaround. We sure don't need to go back to the trickle down economics that got us here.A strong middle class will bring stability to the economy.

      October 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Douglas

    Why do these "fanatics" do stuff like this? Easy answer, islam. After reading the koran, I was shocked to understand that it is the reason for all of this horrible behavior. The moderate muslims actually are not listening to the koran, they are the bad muslims. I know this is shocking to alot of people but true.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ma & pa

    When "Malalas" walk free everywhere to live and learn and help build a peaceful world, we'll be going the right way. "Malalas" are helpmates, not threats, to their brothers in peace, walking hand-in-hand toward freedom. Consider how far from this vision are the Talibani and other like-minded oppressers.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    His book told him exactly what to do. Mohammed inspired him to do it. Allah will reward him for doing it. So, what's the problem?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mandy

    Unfortunately, until the Islamic religion comes out of the dark ages and into the 21st century, where women should be given the same rights and freedoms as men, nothing will change.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
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