Nine suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting of 14-year-old child activist Malala Yousufzai, CNN quoted police officials as saying on Wednesday. The officials added that the main suspects, however, remained at large.
Malala, who spoke against the Taliban, was shot in the head on October 9, 2012.
The police identified Atta Ullah Khan, a 23-year-old man from the Swat district, as the primary suspect.
The police said they were tracing down Khan, who was a student of a master’s degree in chemistry. He had studied for his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Jahanzeb College in Swat.
The school’s principal, Alam Zeb, said that Khan had given school officials three or four dates of birth. While condemning the attack, Zeb said that he was surprised to hear that a former student of the college may have been involved.
In addition to arresting six men -- all of them from Swat – the police also arrested Khan’s mother, brother and fiancée, CNN reported.
A senior official told CNN that the suspect’s relatives were not accused of involvement.
The official did clarify Khan’s role in the shooting.
Malala had come under attack when she was on her way home from school. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Eshanullah Ehsan had claimed that the militant group was behind the attack.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik had earlier claimed that the attackers had been identified.
Malala won international recognition for a blog about the horrors of life under the Taliban and a campaign for the right to an education, is the highest-profile target of militants in Swat for more than three years.