8 Taliban fighters acquitted in attack on Malala Yousafzai

Eight of the Taliban fighters charged in the assassination attempt on Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai have been acquitted.OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

Eight of the Taliban fighters charged in the assassination attempt on Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai have been acquitted.

In an astonishing turn of events, eight of the 10 Taliban fighters reportedly convicted in the 2012 attack on Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai were acquitted in April — not sentenced to life behind bars.

Pakistani police corrected the April report Friday, explaining that only two of the 10 men on trial were convicted for the 2012 assassination attempt. The other eight walked away free after being acquitted due to lack of evidence, deputy police chief Azad Khan said.

Police offered no explanation as to why authorities failed to correct the facts earlier.

In April, public prosecutor Sayed Naeem said 10 militants charged over the attack were all convicted by an anti-terrorism court and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The brutal 2012 shooting left the teenage activist critically injured.

Taliban gunmen swarmed her school bus in October 2012 and shot her in the head, seeking to exact retribution for her widely publicized campaign to promote education for girls. The shooters asked for her by name, singling her out for blogging about her life under Taliban rule on the BBC’s website.

Two of Malala’s classmates were also injured.

Pakistan police arestill seeking the arrest of Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban leader who ordered the attack.Uncredited/AP

Pakistan police arestill seeking the arrest of Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban leader who ordered the attack.

Malala was initially treated in Pakistan, but was later flown to a hospital in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

The 17-year-old was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her ongoing push for children’s rights and access to education. She is the youngest Nobel Laureate in history.

It’s not clear if the eight acquitted Taliban fighters and the two convicted men carried out the attack or helped plan it.

Pakistan police arestill seeking the arrest of Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban leader who ordered the attack.

With News Wire Services

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