The Pakistani government has placed a $1 million bounty on a senior Taliban official who claimed responsibility for ordering the attempted assassination of a 14-year-old girl.
Ehsannullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, has defended the shooting attack on Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted for writing a critical blog that chronicled her life under the Taliban, which formerly controlled the Swat Valley region in northeast Pakistan.
Ehsan said Yousafzai, whose writing was critical of the TTP, was targeted for inciting hatred of the group.
"It's a clear command of Shariah that any female that by any means play role in war against mujahideen should be killed,” read a statement from Ehran, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“Malala Yousafzai was playing a vital role in bucking up the emotions of Murtad [apostate] army and government of Pakistan and was inviting Muslims to hate mujahideen."
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Yousafzai has been hospitalized and remains in critical condition after being shot in the head, while the TTP has vowed to make a second attempt on her life if she survives.
The incident has caused a major public outcry against the Taliban in Pakistan, with senior Muslim clerics in the country condemning the radical fringe group.