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Asia

Teenage Taliban victim Malala leaves hospital

A Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for promoting the education of women has been released from a British hospital. Her shooting drew international condemnation and publicity for her cause.

Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the central English city of Birmingham said Malala Yousufzai was now well enough to continue her recovery at home with her family.

"Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery," the hospital's medical director Dave Rosser said. "Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home," Rosser added.

The teenager had been leaving the hospital for several hours at a time for the past few weeks.

Doctors, who have described her recovery as remarkable, said she would still need surgery to correct damage sustained in the shooting, in which a bullet grazed her brain.

The 15-year-old girl had been brought to Britain for treatment a week after she was shot in the head at point-blank range as she left her school in the Swat valley last October.

News of the attack on the young activist sparked global outrage and international media attention made her into a symbol of the efforts of Taliban Islamist militants to deny education and other rights to women.

pfd/rc (Reuters, dpa)