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Pakistan's Malala Discharged From British Hospital

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (center) waves with nurses as she is discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has been discharged from the British hospital where she was treated after being shot by the Taliban for her work in promoting girls' education.

A video released on January 4 by the hospital in Birmingham showed the 15-year-old walking out of her hospital room while holding hands with a nurse.

She will continue her rehabilitation as an outpatient.

The hospital's medical director described her as "a strong young woman" and praised her "excellent progress" recovering from the attack.

He said she would benefit from living with her parents and two brothers, who moved to Britain to be with her.

The teenager is scheduled to go back to the hospital in late January or early February to have cranial reconstruction surgery.

Ahmad Shah, a close family friend, told RFE/RL that she planned to pursue her rights campaigning after her recovery.

"I talked to Malala a few days ago and she was feeling well. When I asked her about her future plans, she said she would continue her mission for education, peace and development," he said.

Symbol Of Resistance

Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in October 2012 as she was returning home from her school in Pakistan, an attack that drew international condemnation.

She rose to prominence in 2009 when she wrote a blog for the BBC highlighting Taliban atrocities in her native Swat region. When the Taliban controlled much of the valley in 2009, they banned females from going to market or to school.

Malala has since become an internationally recognized symbol of resistance to the Taliban's efforts to deny women education and other rights.

More than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visited her at the Birmingham hospital in December and said his government would pay the expenses for her treatment.

Yousafzai is likely to remain in Britain for several years.

Earlier this week, Pakistani authorities appointed her father to be Pakistan's education attache in Birmingham.

The appointment is for at least three years.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa