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A Taliban gunman walked up to a bus taking children home from school in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley on Tuesday and shot and wounded a 14-year-old activist known for championing the education of girls and publicizing atrocities committed by the Taliban, officials said.
The attack in the city of Mingora targeted 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who is widely respected for her work to promote the schooling of girls -- something that the Taliban strongly opposes. She was nominated last year for the International Children's Peace Prize.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Malala's work "obscenity." "This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter," said Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan by telephone. "We have carried out this attack."
When she was only 11 years old, she began writing a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC's Urdu service about life under Taliban occupation. After the Taliban were ejected from the Swat Valley in the summer of 2009, she began speaking out publicly about the militant group and the need for girls' education.