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Pakistan Sentences 10 Men for Malala Attack


FILE - Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.
FILE - Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

A Pakistani court has sentenced 10 men to life imprisonment for an attack on Nobel Laureate Malala Yousufzai for her activism for female education.

Two of the men, Israrullah and Izhar, were present during the attack on the schoolchildren and the others were part of the planning.

These are the first convictions in the 2012 attack. The men will spend at least 25 years in jail.

The Pakistani Taliban group claimed responsibility for the attack and said it would target Malala again if she ever returned to Pakistan.

The head of TTP, Mullah Fazlullah, who is wanted in this attack as well as many others in Pakistan, is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan along with Ataullah, the man accused of shooting Malala and two of her friends.

She was only 14 years old when she was shot on her way home from school in Pakistan’s scenic Swat Valley. She survived and was airlifted to Britain for treatment, where she now resides.

Malala became famous when she started writing a blog about the Taliban denying her and other girls the right to go to school for the BBC’s Urdu service under the pseudonym Gul Makai. She became the youngest person to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Pakistan's military later wrested control of the Swat Valley area back from the Taliban.

The 10 men were arrested in September 2014 as a result of joint military and police operations.

Pakistan Army spokesman Asim Bajwa said Zafar Iqbal, a furniture shop owner in Swat, led the attackers at the instruction of Fazlullah, who communicated with the group in Pakistan through micro SD cards transported by couriers.