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Doctors save 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl

Doctors have successfully operated on a 14-year-old schoolgirl who was shot by members of the Pakistani Taliban for being "pro-West." The shooting drew condemnation from international leaders and rights groups.

After performing surgery at a hospital in Peshawar early Wednesday morning, Pakistani doctors announced that they had been able to remove the bullet from Taliban shooting victim, Malala Yousufzai.

"She is still unconscious and kept in the intensive care unit," Dr. Mumtaz Khan told Reuters news agency on behalf of the doctors caring for the 14-year-old girl.

Members of the Taliban shot Yousufzai in the head and neck as she was coming home from school on Tuesday. The shooting took place in the Swat valley northwest of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, citing Yousufzai's promotion of education for girls.

"Any female that, by any means, plays a role in the war against mujahideen should be killed," said Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan. Ihnsan used the term "mujahideen," meaning Islamic holy warriors, in reference to the Taliban.

"We are dead against co-education and a secular education system," he said.

On Tuesday, Pakistani and US leaders condemned the attack.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari asserted that it would not deter government efforts to fight Islamist militants or its determination to support women's education.

"Pakistan's future belongs to Malala and brave young girls like her. History won't remember the cowards who tried to kill her at school," said the United States' UN ambassador Susan Rice on Twitter.

Yousafzai rose to fame after highlighting Taliban atrocities in a BBC blog published in 2009, when Islamist militants led by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah burned girls' schools and terrorized the valley.

Last year Pakistan awarded her the first-ever National Peace Award in recognition of her efforts. She was also nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize.

The Taliban controlled much of Swat from 2007 to 2009 but were supposedly driven out by an army offensive in July 2009.

kms/mz (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)