She was shot in the head for advocating girls’ education in Pakistan’s Swat Valley last month

Malala Yousufzai, the teenage Pakistani rights activist recovering in a Birmingham hospital after being shot by the Taliban on October 9, on Friday thanked millions of well-wishers for their support.

Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she is undergoing specialised treatment, on Friday released her picture sitting and reading a book.

Malala, 15, who was shot in the head for advocating girls’ education in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, has received thousands of gifts, cards and messages of support since she reached Birmingham on October 15. More than 7,000 people have written to her on the hospital’s message board, expressing their love and support.

Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai issued a message of gratitude on her behalf, saying she wanted to thank well-wishers for helping her survive and “stay strong.”

“She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being,” he said in a statement issued by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

“We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all castes, colours and creeds.”

Her father, mother and two brothers meet Malala twice a day and have been housed locally.

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