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Obama, Clinton condemn attack on Pakistani teenager


Washington, Oct 11 (IANS) President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have condemned the Taliban attack on teenaged Pakistani peace activist Malala Yousufzai, calling it tragic and a reminder of the "challenges that girls face".

Obama found the news of the Talibani shooting of 14-year-old Pakistani peace activist Malala Yousufzai "reprehensible, disgusting and tragic", the White House Wednesday said.

"We strongly condemn the shooting of Malala Yousufzai," Obama’s spokesperson Jay Carney said.

Malala was shot and seriously injured in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province Tuesday when she was returning home from school. Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting that also injured two other girl and has sparked outrage across the world.

Doctors Wednesday removed a bullet that pierced Malala’s head and got lodged in her shoulder.

Condemning the attack on Malala, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here it was a reminder of the "challenges that girls face" just for speaking out.

Clinton said Wednesday that Malala has been active in speaking out for the right of girls to get an education.

"She’s even blogged about it, and she has been very brave in standing up for the rights of girls in the area where she comes from in Pakistan," Clinton said in remarks to a group of visiting Girl Scouts in honour of the first-ever International Day of the Girl.

She added that the attack on Malala "reminds us of the challenges that girls face, whether it’s poverty or marginalization or even violence, just for speaking out for their basic rights".

Recounting the Taliban attack on 14-year-old Malala, Clinton said: "She was attacked and shot by extremists who don’t want girls to have an education and don’t want girls to speak for themselves and don’t want girls to become leaders, who are, for a variety of reasons, threatened by that kind of empowerment".

"And so they shot Malala, and she’s in critical condition."

Clinton said, "We should be dedicating our efforts to brave young women, some of whose names we will know and some we will never know, who struggle against tradition and culture and even outright hostility and sometimes violence to pursue their hopes, their God-given potential to have a life of meaning and purpose and make contributions to their families, their communities, their countries, and the world".


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