…is Malala Yousafzai. She is a young activist in the Swat region of Pakistan who is a very vocal and public advocate for girls education. On her way to school yesterday a gunman stopped her bus and shot her in the head. She is alive, but severely wounded.
Malala Yousafzai was attacked on her way home from school in Mingora, the region’s main town.
She came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban militants who had taken control of the valley.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack.
Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.
Malala Yousafzai was travelling with at least one other girl when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how events unfolded.
One report, citing local sources, says a bearded gunman stopped a car full of schoolgirls, and asked for Malala Yousafzai by name, before opening fire.
Here is an excellent New York Times video profile of her courageous work to fight extremists in her community.
This is truly horrific. We are all puling for Malala right now.