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A handout picture taken on November 7, 2012, and obtained in London on November 9, 2012, shows injured 15 year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (L) talking with her father Ziauddin at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in central England.—Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: Malala Yousufzai has been awarded the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award from Ireland for her courage and determination to speak out in support of equal access to education for children.

Malala was one of five nominees, including US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, President of Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi, former Kenyan journalist John Githongo and Pax Christi International, the Catholic human rights and peace organization.

Malala, 15, is recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was brought from Pakistan on October 15.

The teenager was shot on her school bus in northwestern Swat in October by Pakistani Taliban gunmen for promoting girls’ education and speaking against the militant group. However, she survived the murder attempt.

Malala first rose to prominence aged just 11 with a blog for the BBC Urdu service in 2009 in which she described life in Swat during the bloody rule of the Taliban.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was also awarded the Tipperary Peace Award in 2007.

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