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Pakistani girl shot by Taliban reunited with family

Nathalie Bardou / AP

Participants of a vigil for Malala Yousufzai hold a poster of the shooting victim on Oct. 11 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET: The family of Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for speaking out for the right to an education, arrived at a hospital in Britain Thursday to be reunited with her, NBC News has learned.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik announced that Yousufzai was able to speak and had talked to her parents by telephone, The Associated Press reported. 

On Oct. 15, Yousufzai was transferred to a hospital in the English city of Birmingham to receive specialized treatment for the injuries she suffered earlier in the month.


Her father, mother and two younger brothers were making the trip to Britain, Pakistani and British sources told NBC News.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, accompanied them.

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In a statement recorded for Pakistani state television, her father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, said his daughter would return home after her medical treatment, the AP reported.  It was the first time he had spoken publicly since the Oct. 9 shooting in northwest Pakistan.

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In the statement, Ziauddin Yousufzai dismissed rumors that his family would seek asylum overseas in light of continuing threats by the Taliban.

"I have seen doomsday and survived, you might say. Malala has been honored by the nation, by the world, by people of all classes of all creeds of all colors. I am grateful for that," Britain's Daily Telegraph quoted Ziauddin Yousufzai as saying in an interview before he left Pakistan

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A spokeswoman for the University Hospitals Birmingham said Yousufzai was still comfortable and responding well to treatment at the city’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Tributes and words of support from around the world continue to pour in to a special message board on the hospital’s website.

 

Malala Yousufzai remains in stable condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she is receiving gifts, flowers and positive messages from around the world. Her family is expected to arrive in the UK in the next few days. NBC's Amna Nawaz reports.

Yousufzai began standing up to the Taliban when she was 11, when the Islamabad government had effectively ceded control of the Swat Valley, where she lives, to the militants.

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The attack on Yousufzai and two other girls as they left school was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted her against one of Pakistan's most ruthless Taliban commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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