Malala Yousufzai, 12, is seen at her home in the Swat Valley, March 26, 2009, in Peshawar, Pakistan. (Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expressing outrage and the strongest condemnation over the shooting of a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who championed the rights of education for girls.
The U.N. chief called Tuesday's attack on Malala Yousufzai, which was claimed by the Taliban, a "heinous and cowardly act," U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
Ban urged that the perpetrators be swiftly brought to justice and expressed solidarity with Pakistan's efforts to confront violent extremism, he said.
Nesirky said Wednesday that the secretary-general was deeply moved by Malala's "courageous efforts" to promote education, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
He said Ban is writing to her family to express his hope for her full and speedy recovery, and expresses sympathy to the two other girls injured in the attack.