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UAE sends medics to Pakistan to evacuate girl shot by Taliban

A student holds an image of Malala Yousufzai, who was shot on Tuesday by the Taliban, during a rally in Lahore October 14, 2012. REUTERS/Moh
A student holds an image of Malala Yousufzai, who was shot on Tuesday by the Taliban, during a rally in Lahore October 14, 2012. REUTERS/Moh

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has dispatched a medical team to evacuate a Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban if doctors decide she should be taken abroad for treatment, a UAE news agency reported on Sunday.

The WAM state news agency said the team would evaluate the condition of education campaigner Malala Yousufzai and facilitate her transfer to a hospital outside Pakistan.

Fourteen-year-old Yousufzai was leaving school in her hometown in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan when she was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban for speaking out against the militants and promoting education for girls.

A spokesman for the Pakistani embassy in the UAE told Reuters the UAE had sent an air ambulance to Pakistan, but a decision on whether she would be transferred out of the country had not been taken.

Yousufzai, whose shooting has drawn condemnation from world leaders, was being treated at a military hospital in Rawalpindi.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Said the attack must be "universally denounced."

"The attempt on Malala's life was not only an attack on a defenseless child, it was an attack on her and every girl's right to a future unlimited by prejudice and oppression," he said, according to WAM. "We must all stand with Malala in promoting tolerance and respect."

The shooting has outraged people in Pakistan, a country seemingly inured to extreme violence since a surge in Islamist militancy began after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

(Reporting by Mahmoud Habboush and Praveen Menon; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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