• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Pakistani girl shot by Taliban leaves hospital

January 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban three months ago is finally able to return to her family.

Malala Yousufzai, 15, left the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Thursday. She was shot in the head by members of the Taliban Oct. 9 while walking home from school in Pakistan. She was targeted because of her objections to the Taliban's stance that girls should have limited access to education.

The girl will live with her parents and two brothers in Britain while still receiving treatments and undergoing another round of surgery to rebuild her skull.

"She is quite well and happy on returning home - as we all are," Malala's father, Ziauddin, told The Associated Press.

Doctors had been optimistic about Malala's recovery because they say the teenage brain is still growing and can better adapt to trauma.

"Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery," said Dr. Dave Rosser, the medical director for University Hospitals Birmingham. "Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers."

The Taliban have threatened to target Malala again because they say she promotes "Western thinking." But a security assessment in Britain concluded there was little risk in allowing her to be released.

Malala's father says the family will return to Pakistan once his daughter has fully recovered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.