A Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, saying she is recovering.
Speaking clearly but with a slight stiffness in her upper lip, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai said that she was "getting better, day by day."
The video statement was published Monday, just hours after Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said they had successfully operated to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing.
"She is awake and talking to staff and members of her family," the hospital said in a statement, adding that she would continue to recover in the hospital until she is well enough to be discharged.
The teenager drew the world's attention when she was shot by Taliban militants on Oct. 9 on her way home on a school bus in northwestern Pakistan. The Islamist group said they targeted her because she promoted girls' education and "Western thinking" and criticized the militant group's behavior when it took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived.
At age 11, Malala began to write a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under the Taliban in the Swat Valley. After Pakistan's military ousted the militants in 2009, she began publicly speaking out about the need for girls' education. She appeared frequently in the media and was given one of the country's highest civilian honors for her bravery.
The shooting sparked outrage in Pakistan and around the world, and her story has captured global attention for the struggle for women's rights in Pakistan. In a sign of her reach, the teen made the shortlist for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2012.
Malala was airlifted to Britain from Pakistan in October to receive specialized medical care and protection against further Taliban threats. She is expected to remain in the U.K. for some time after her father, Ziauddin, was given a diplomatic post based in the English city of Birmingham.
So far, doctors say she has made very good progress. She was able to stand, write and return home, and doctors said they have seen minimum signs of brain damage.