10 militants sentenced to life over Malala attack

2015-04-30 18:03
(Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP)

(Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP)

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Islamabad - An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday condemned 10 men to life in prison for involvement in the attempted murder of teenage education activist and Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Malala was shot in 2012 as she returned with two classmates from school in Mingora town of the Swat district in the northwest.

The military said in September 2014 they had arrested 10 militants in connection with the attack.

The accused were tried by an anti-terrorism court in Swat, where they confessed to planning and carrying out the attack on the behalf of fugitive Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, a court official told dpa.

"The court found them guilty of the attack and conspiracy to kill her and handed down life sentences," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Senior lawyer Shahbaz Rajput told dpa that life imprisonment in Pakistan means 25 years in jail.

"The convicts can appeal against the sentence in the high court," he said.

Malala, now 17, survived being shot in the head and moved to Britain, going on to become the youngest Nobel peace prize winner in 2014.

She initially gained fame at the age of 11, when she wrote a diary for the BBC in Urdu under the pseudonym Gul Makai, a heroine of a folk tale in the local Pashto language.

Her writings documented life under strict sharia, including a ban on women's education by Taliban, who controlled Swat from 2007 to 2009.

The rebels lost power when they were defeated by army and their chief Fazlullah escaped to Afghanistan, where he lives in hiding.

According to a police official Fazlulllah is wanted in the Malala attack case along with another militant Ataullah Khan, who is also believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

Read more on:    malala yousafzai  |  pakistan

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