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Photos of Wounded US Congresswoman Released


US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords smiles in one of the images released June 12, 2011, on her Facebook page

US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords smiles in one of the images released June 12, 2011, on her Facebook page

The first photographs have been released of the U.S. congresswoman who was shot in the head in January at an outdoor political meeting.

One photo shows Representative Gabrielle Giffords alone, smiling. In the second, she is seen with an unidentified woman. Giffords' hair is cut short but there are few other signs of the gunshot wound.

The congresswoman has been undergoing rehabilitation in Houston, Texas. She was transferred there two weeks after the January 8 incident in which six people were killed and 13 others were wounded.

Giffords was well enough to be on hand in Florida to witness the April launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, under the command of her astronaut husband Mark Kelly.

Although the congresswoman has made remarkable strides in her recovery, her spokeswoman says she still has a long way to go.

There is no word about the next step in her recovery program and whether she will ever be able to return to her duties in the U.S. Congress.

The 22-year-old man accused in the shooting has pleaded not guilty and is being held at a prison in the central U.S. state of Missouri. A judge declared him incompetent to stand trial.

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