PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani court jailed 10 men for 25 years each on Thursday for involvement in the 2012 shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, targeted for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls education.
Pakistani Taliban militants claimed responsibility for attacking Malala as she traveled home from school in her home in Swat, northwest of the capital, Islamabad.
“Judge Mohammad Amin Kundi in his verdict gave 25 years jail to all of these people,” said a court official in Swat, where the 10 were convicted in an anti-terrorism court.
They were the first convictions for the attack.
Malala was seriously wounded and airlifted to Britain for treatment, where she now lives. Two other schoolgirls were wounded.
Since then, Malala has become a symbol of defiance in the fight against militants operating in ethnic Pashtun areas in northwest Pakistan. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
A security official said none of the four or five men who carried out the attack on Malala was among the 10 men sentenced on Thursday.
“But certainly they had a role in the planning and execution of the assassination attempt on Malala,” said a police official in Swat who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Police believe the gunman who shot Malala escaped across the border into Afghanistan.
Several people, including Pakistani Taliban leader Fazlullah, are wanted in connection with the attack on Malala.
Fazlullah, a fiery preacher from Swat, is also believed to be hiding out in eastern Afghanistan.
Malala is unable to return to her homeland because of Taliban threats to kill her and her family members.
Reporting by Jibran Ahmad; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Jeremy Laurence