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Why 'Malala's Attackers Arrested' Claims Are So Confusing

The Taliban members responsible for shooting teen activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012 are in custody, according to Pakistan authorities.

Why 'Malala's Attackers Arrested' Claims Are So Confusing
Getty Images / Christopher Furlong
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Authorities in Pakistan say they have arrested the Taliban members who tried to kill teen activist Malala Yousafzai nearly two years ago.

BBC reports a spokesperson for the Pakistani army told the media Friday 10 members of a faction called Shura were taken into custody.

That army spokesman said the group had apparently been operating under the instructions of Mullah Fazlullah, the head of the Pakistani Taliban, when they shot Malala.

The spokesperson said one man's confession led to the arrests of nine others and weapons were also confiscated. But in the news of their arrests, it's still not clear whether — or with what — the men have been charged. 

Interestingly, The Guardian notes the suspects were apprehended months ago and that in Pakistan terrorism suspects can be held for 90 days without charge. 

There's also speculation the suspects fell victim to a rift within the Pakistani Taliban. A member of the faction blamed for the attack called the army's allegations "thoughts and fantasies" and denies the men arrested were involved. 

A former member of the Pakistani intelligence community told The Telegraph"Owing to rivalry, there is a possibility that the information ... came from one of the rival groups."

The Taliban did claim responsibility for shooting Malala and two other girls in October 2012. But until now, no arrests had been made. (Video via Sky News)

Malala was targeted because of her prominent activism for equal education and rights for girls in Pakistan. She nearly died when the attackers boarded her school bus and shot her in the head.

MALALA TO THE BBC: "I was on my way back home, but then suddenly our bus was stopped, and then two men came. He asked, 'Who is Malala?' Then that man, he suddenly pulled out a gun, and he fired three bullets. One of the bullets hit me."

After the shooting, Malala, who's now 17, was airlifted to the U.K. for treatment, where she's remained ever since due to Taliban death threats against her and her family.

But despite her terrifying near-death experience and those threats, Malala has continued to campaign for women's right to education in Pakistan.

YOUSAFZAI AT THE UNITED NATIONS: "They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And then, out of that silence, came thousands of voices."

She has since written a book called "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban."

And her courage got her the European Union's human rights award and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. (Video via Euronews)

According to a spokesperson for the Pakistani army, the suspects will face an anti-terrorism court sometime soon.