1​0 militants sentenced to life over Malala attack

Malala Yousafzai [PHOTO: guardian.co.uk]

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday in Islamabad 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.

A chief court officer said on condition of anonymity that the accused were tried by an anti-terrorism court in Swat.

He said they confessed to planning and carrying out the attack on the behalf of fugitive Taliban Chief, Maulana Fazlullah.

He said the court found them guilty of the attack and conspiracy to kill her and handed down life sentences.

A police official confirmed Mr. Fazlulllah was wanted in the Malala attack case along with another militant Ataullah Khan, who was also believed to be hiding in Afghani.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Rajput, a senior lawyer said life imprisonment in Pakistan “means 25 years in jail and the convicts can appeal against the sentence in the high court.”

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.

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.


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