WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday condemned as “barbaric” and “cowardly” the Taliban attack on 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, an outspoken activist for girls right to education as American media played up the news.
“We strongly condemn the shooting of Malala. Directing violence at children is barbaric, it’s cowardly, and our hearts go out to her and the others who were wounded, as well as their families,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at the daily Press briefing.
Malala was seriously injured when militants fired at the van carrying her and other schoolgirls in Swat. She has been recognised nationally for being an outstanding advocate for girls rights.
“Our hearts go out to her and the others who were injured as well as their families,” the spokesperson said, when asked to comment on the incident.
Malala won international recognition for highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat with a blog for the BBC three years ago, when militants burned girls schools and terrorised the Valley.
She received the first-ever national peace award from the Pakistani government last year, and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by advocacy group KidsRights Foundation in 2011.