THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL, NEWS PAKISTAN, GEO NEWS (Pakistan), BBC URDU (UK)

Worldcrunch

SWAT - Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old peace activist has been shot in her hometown of Swat in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northern Pakistan.

The children’s rights activist was injured along with two other girls when unknown assailants opened fire on the vehicle driving her home from school, the website Geo News reports.

Police said Yousafzai was shot twice, and was rushed to the District Headquarter Hospital in Saidu Sharif, before being transferred to a hospital in Peshawar. According to BBC Urdu, Yousafzai sustained a bullet wound to the back of her neck, however initial reports say the teenage activist is now out of danger.

Yousafzai had recently received threats to her life, after which she was provided with a special car and unarmed security personnel, News Pakistan reports. According to the news website, the attacker - who was wearing a police uniform - stopped Yousafzai’s vehicle near her school and opened fire after inquiring about her.

Malala Yousafzai came under the global spotlight in 2009 for her efforts to bring back peace to her hometown Swat, which notably included writing a diary for the BBC about the atrocities of the Pakistani Taliban regime, reports Pakistan’s The News International. She was awarded the first National Peace Award by the Pakistani government on 19 December 2011.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raja Pervez Ashraf has condemned the attack.

To those who targeted Malala Yousafzai: It is against Pashtun culture to violate women. Nor is it manly. Pick on somebody your own size.

— Wajahat S. Khan (@WajSKhan) October 9, 2012

Let’s not fool ourselves – Malala Yousafzai, a teenaged school girl was targeted because she stood up to and spoke out against the Taliban

— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) October 9, 2012

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Geopolitics

Taliban And Iran: The Impossible Alliance May Already Be Crumbling

After the Sunni fundamentalist Taliban rulers retook control of Afghanistan, there were initial, friendly signals exchanged with Iran's Shia regime. But a recent border skirmish recalls tensions from the 1990s, when Iran massed troops on the Afghan frontier.

Taliban troops during a military operation in Kandahar

The clashes reported this week from the border between Iran and Afghanistan were perhaps inevitable.

There are so far scant details on what triggered the flare up on Wednesday between Iranian border forces and Taliban fighters, near the district of Hirmand in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan province. Still, footage posted on social media indicated the exchange of fire was fairly intense, with troops on both sides using both light and heavy weaponry.

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