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Pakistan Rallies Around Young Activist Shot While Riding School Bus

Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD) -- Malala Yousafzai has become an icon of hope in Pakistan.

At vigils on Thursday, people prayed for the 14-year-old Pakistani rights activist who dared to speak against the Taliban.

“Malala can be anybody’s child,” Pakistani Sen. Rubina Khalid said. “It is not this thing that will stop at one person.”

Malala, who’d campaigned for the right of girls to attend school, was shot in the head and neck and nearly killed Tuesday by a lone Taliban gunman as she rode a crowded school bus in Pakistan’s once-volatile Swat region.

She continued to fight for her life on Thursday in a military hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Another little girl was also wounded.

The attack has shaken the country – from ordinary Pakistanis to the highest levels of power.

Even the head of the country’s powerful army visited her in the hospital, saying, “We refuse to bow before terror. We will fight. … We will win.”

“It’s united the entire nation,” said Farzana Bari, a women’s rights activist. “Everybody’s feeling the same way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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