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Fake 'relatives' try to see Malala Yousufzai at UK hospital

Police questioned two people who turned up at a British hospital where the 14-year-old girl shot by the Taliban is receiving treatment. Taliban threats against her continue.

By Associated Press / October 16, 2012

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 15, police officers patrol outside the Queen Elizabeth hospital, where Pakistani girl Malala Yousufzai is being treated, in Birmingham, England, Monday, Oct. 15. Birmingham Police say they questioned two people at the hospital where Yousufzai is recovering after being shot, raising fears about the girl's security amid pledges by the Taliban to finish the job.

Alastair Grant/AP


Birmingham, England

Police on Tuesday questioned two people at a hospital where a teenage Pakistani activist is recovering after being shot, raising fears about the girl's security amid pledges by the Taliban to finish the job.

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Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head by the Taliban last week as she was returning home from school. She was airlifted to Britain on Monday to receive specialized medical care and protection from follow-up attacks threatened by the militants.

Medical Director Dave Rosser of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham stressed Tuesday that security was "under control." He said several individuals had turned up at the hospital claiming to be the girl's relatives — but didn't get very far. He said the people were arrested, but police said they had merely been questioned.

"We don't believe there's any threat to her personal security," Rosser told journalists, explaining the hospital did not believe the suspects were related to Malala. "We think it's probably people being over-curious."

Police could not immediately confirm the details of the incident.

The attack on Malala, who campaigns for girls' right to education, horrified people in Pakistan and across the world.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced a $1 million bounty for Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan during an interview with CNN that aired Tuesday. Malik said "we want to definitely get him" because he was the one who announced that the Taliban carried out the attack on Malala.

Malala was targeted by the Taliban for promoting girls' education and criticizing the militant group's behavior when they took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived. Two of her classmates were also wounded in the attack and are receiving treatment in Pakistan.

The Taliban has threatened to target Malala until she is killed because she promotes "Western thinking."

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