Pakistan police have made arrests in connection with the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old girl who has become a global icon for peace and the rights of young women to receive an education.

Dawn, a Pakistani English-language newspaper, reported that police in Yousafzai’s native Swat Valley made the arrests. However, details on the number of suspects, their role in the shooting or how they were apprehended, are sketchy.

Yousafzai, and two other girls, were shot and wounded while walking home from school.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yousafzai, who had a bullet removed from her body in an operation earlier, remains in critical condition in a military hospital in Rawalpindi.

A spokesman for the Pakistan army said the next 36 to 48 hours will be crucial in determining her ultimate survival.

Raja Pervez Ashraf, Pakistan's prime minister visited the girl in hospital.

"It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values," he said.