Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen last Tuesday, has flown from a military hospital in Rawalpindi to the U.K. for medical treatment, say reports.
The teen remains in serious condition after the attack, which the Taliban said they carried out because she was "promoting secularism" by advocating education for girls.
"Malala will require prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has received," according to a statement issued Monday by the Pakistani military, reports the Los Angeles Times
The newspaper adds that Malala's family was consulted before the decision to move her to Britain was made.
An air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates took Malala to the major trauma center at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the facility confirmed. Aboard the flight she had a full medical team with her, and once her condition improves, she is expected to undergo procedures to repair or replace damaged bones in her skull and to receive neurological treatment.
"Malala’s ongoing clinical care is now the hospital’s priority," the hospital said in a statement upon her arrival. "Our organization and processes include robust security measures to protect the privacy and dignity of all our patients, both military and civilian."
Malala first gained attention starting at the age of 11, when under the pseudonym Gul Makai she began writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life ruled by the Taliban, the BBC reports
. Militants, she said, had forced the closing of girls' school in the Swat Valley in 2007. Although two years later the militants were ousted from the region, she continued to receive death threats for having expressed her sentiments.
Last week, returning home from school, she was attacked after two armed men singled her out on a school bus loaded with about a dozen students. One of the men fired three shots, hitting Malala in the head and injuring two others, said the BBC.
Throughout Pakistan, protests have been held condemning the incident, and four people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
On Monday, according to the Times
, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his current position as United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, announced the launch of a petition "in support of what Malala fought for."
Additional reporting by SIMON PERRY