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Nobel winner Malala visits Pakistan home region where she was shot

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Nobel winner Malala visits Pakistan home region where she was shot

Nobel winner Malala visits Pakistan home region where she was shot
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REUTERS/Saiyna Bashir
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The Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has paid a visit to her home town in Pakistan for the first time since she was shot as a teenager in 2012.

Two security officials and a family friend confirmed the visit.

Roads leading to the 20-year-old activist’s home in Mingora in the Swat Valley were blocked earlier in the day.

Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman after campaigning for female education.

She has been visiting Pakistan since Thursday, her first trip home from the UK since she was airlifted abroad for treatment. Security has been provided by the government and Pakistan military.

She was flown into Swat by helicopter, and security officials said the trip would probably be just for one day.

The visit was in doubt because of concerns over Yousoufzai's safety. Parts of the region spent nearly two years under the Pakistani Taliban militants' harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

The area remains mostly peaceful but the Taliban still occasionally launch attacks, including one on the military a few weeks ago. The Pakistani army re-took control of Swat back from the militants in 2009.

"I miss everything about Pakistan... from the rivers, the mountains, to even the dirty streets and the garbage around our house, and my friends and how we used to have gossip... to how we used to fight with our neighbours," she told Reuters in an interview on Friday in Islamabad.

At the age of 17, Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her education advocacy.

The Taliban claimed reponsibility for shooting her in 2012 because of her outspoken advocacy for girls' education, which had been forbidden under the militants' rule.

REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood TPX
A helicopter carrying Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai prepares to land at her hometown of Mingora in Swat Valley, Pakistan, March 31, 2018REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood TPX