A spokesman for the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley took responsibility for the shooting on Tuesday of a 14-year-old activist who is an outspoken advocate of education for girls. The attack on Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head on her way home from school in Mingora, the region’s main city, outraged many Pakistanis, but a Taliban spokesman told a newspaper that the group would target the girl again if she survived.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban, told Reuters in a telephone interview that Malala “was pro-West, she was speaking against the Taliban and she was calling President Obama her idol.” He acknowledged that she was young but said that “she was promoting Western culture in Pashtun areas,” referring to the ethnic group in northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan whose conservative values the Taliban claims to defend.
Another girl, one of two others wounded in the attack, said in a television interview with Pakistan’s Express News that a man had stopped the school bus and asked which girl was Malala before opening fire.
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