Taliban Defends Attack on Teen: “A Child Can be Killed”

The Taliban issued a three-page defense of its attack on a Pakistani teen who is being treated for gunshot wounds in a British hospital after members of the terrorist group shot her as she was exiting school. The lengthy statement, according to the translation of NBC News producers, accused 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai as acting as a "spy of the West" and denied that she was targeted because of her advocacy for girls' education. "We did not attack her for raising voice for education," the statement said. "We targeted her for opposing mujahedeen and their war. Shariah (Islamic law) says that even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam." NBC News pointed out that it is rare for al-Qaida "to feel the need to explain an attack" and its unusual reaction could signal that the group is responding to the overwhelming backlash stirred up by the attack. In additional to a widespread public outcry in Pakistan and beyond, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced a $1 million bounty for Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan and a pardon for the organization's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, if he renounced terrorism.

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