Vigil for Malala, the teenager shot by the Pakistani Taliban

Children in the Pakistani city of Karachi pray for the recovery of Malala Yousufzai, the 14-year-old schoolgirl shot by the Taliban on Tuesday for speaking out in support of education for women. Vigils were staged across the country yesterday as police said they had arrested several suspects.

Malala is being kept unconscious on a ventilator at Pakistan's top military hospital in Rawalpindi.

Major-General Asim Saleem Bajwa said: "Her blood pressure is normal. [Her] heartbeat is normal, and thanks to God, her condition is satisfactory. But the next 36 to 48 hours are critical."

Malala won global recognition in 2009 after highlighting Taliban atrocities in the Swat Valley through a BBC blog. She was shot after the school bus she was travelling on was flagged down by Taliban gunmen. One man boarded the bus and asked the children to identify Malala after which three shots were fired. One bullet hit her in the head, the second hit her friend's shoulder and the third caused a minor injury to another girl.

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