Malala Yousufzai sent to Britain for treatment
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Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, in a serious condition after being shot in the head during an assassination attempt by the Taliban, was flown to Britain today following an offer of help from the British government.
"The evacuation was arranged by the Pakistani authorities after an assessment by the medical team treating Malala. It follows an offer by the UK government to assist Malala in any way that we could," said a statement issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Fourteen-year-old Malala will be provided specialist medical care at an NHS hospital.
The details of the hospital were not being released for "reasons of patient confidentiality", the statement said.
"The hospital chosen has the capacity for Malala to be treated without affecting the normal operations of the hospital. Full costs of the medical evacuation, NHS care and any ongoing rehabilitation will be met by the Pakistani government," the statement said.
Talking to reporters in Islamabad, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the decision to shift Malala to Britain was made jointly by the civil and military leadership.
The transfer was kept "top secret" in view of threats to her life, including a warning from the Taliban that its fighters would target her again.
"We decided to keep the news secret till the flight had taken off from Rawalpindi," Malik said.
Malala was flown from Rawalpindi in an air ambulance provided by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates. She was accompanied by a Pakistani medical team. The aircraft made a stop in Abu Dhabi to refuel.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said his country would stand "shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism".
"The public revulsion and condemnation of this cowardly attack shows that the people of Pakistan will not be beaten by terrorists," Hague said in a statement.
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