The 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl campaigner shot in the head by the Taliban for demanding education for girls, arrives in the UK for medical treatment.
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Malala Yousafzai, the student activist, left Islamabad amid tight security for treatment at a British hospital. She departed the Pakistani capital aboard a specially equipped air ambulance provided by the government of the UAE.
The teenager - a high profile-campaigner in Pakistan for girls' education - was shot in the head and neck by gunmen as she returned home from school in the Swat Valley last Tuesday. The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling her a symbol of "the infidels and obscenity" - and said they would target her again.
Her medical evacuation - surely the most accurate description - comes amidst intense speculation about her condition. Over the weekend, Pakistani newspapers quoted a military spokesman sounding upbeat; Malala was making "slow and steady progress" she had been taken off the ventilator for a "short period on Sunday" and was "moving her fingers and toes".
However, another non-military source said the high school student had "a very limited chance of life left".
Chances of survival
The army justified her transfer to the UK in these terms: "The acute phase has been managed in accordance with international standards and the medical team is pleased with her present condition which has been described as optimal... it was agreed by the panel of Pakistani doctors and international experts that Malala will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received."
Still, a well-placed source speaking on the condition of anonymity told Channel 4 News that the situation is considered critical. As of Friday, her chances of survival were considered no higher than 50 per cent - and possibly less than that.
The doctors treating her at a military hospital in Rawalpindi received offers from a number of countries offering advanced medical care - including the UK - and those offers were mulled over by the medics on the weekend.
The politics of accepting an offer from an American hospital made such a decision difficult. However, Pakistan and the UK enjoy what is considered to be a good relationship and they are also physically closer to each other - that reduced the flying time and the risks associated with transferring the teenager by air.
Meanwhile, reports from Pakistan say that outside Peshawar, militants overran a police post, killing six and kidnapping seven more. A senior officer, Khursheed Khan, was beheaded and his head taken.