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On Monday, the military said damaged bones in Malala’s skull will need to be repaired or replaced, and she will need “intensive neuro rehabilitation.” The decision to send the girl abroad was taken in consultation with her family, and the Pakistani government will pay for her treatment.

Pakistanis have held rallies for Malala throughout the country, but most have only numbered a few hundred people. The largest show of support by far occurred Sunday when tens of thousands of people held a demonstration in the southern port city of Karachi organized by the most powerful political party in the city, the Muttahida Quami Movement.

“The U.K. stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement sent to reporters. “Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.”

Late Sunday night, more than 100 Taliban militants attacked a police station in the small town of Matni, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the main northwest city of Peshawar. The heavily armed militants killed six policemen, including two who were beheaded, said police officer Ishrat Yar.

The police engaged the militants in a gunbattle that lasted for several hours, but the insurgents escaped after burning the police station and four police vehicles, said Yar.

One of the policemen who was beheaded was a senior official who commanded several police stations in the area and was leading reinforcements against the attack, said Yar. Another 12 policemen received gunshot wounds.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Afridi, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the police were targeted because they had killed several militants.

The Taliban have carried out hundreds of attacks throughout Pakistan but the attacks rarely include such a high number of militants as in the assault on the police station in Matni.

Abbot reported from Islamabad. Associated Press writers Asif Shahzad in Islamabad, Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, and David Stringer and Robert Barr in London contributed to this report.