Taliban commanderís brothers held in Pak

International

Pakistani security agencies have arrested three brothers of a senior Taliban commander from Swat during a raid for alleged links to the near-fatal attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who is still on ventilator in hospital and making "slow and steady" progress.

The suspects, who were arrested on Saturday in Nowshera district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, were sent to an undisclosed location for questioning, officials said. The officials said their brother was a senior commander in the Taliban faction led by Maulana Fazlullah, who controlled Swat till the Army launched an operation there in early 2009.

The suspects were held a day after Swat district police chief Gul Afzal Khan Afridi announced they had made an "important breakthrough" by arresting three other men, whose identity not disclosed, on suspicion of involvement in the attack on 14-year-old Malala.

Afridi had said police were hopeful of arresting Ataullah ó the alleged mastermind of the attack ó soon.

Earlier, police and security agencies had detained dozens of suspects for questioning in connection with the attack. Most of these people were released after questioning

On Malala's condition, the military on Sunday said she was making "slow and steady progress."

"Doctors have reviewed Malala's condition and are satisfied. She is making slow and steady progress which is in keeping with expectations," chief military spokesman Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a statement.

UAE plans to send air ambulance

Islamabad: The UAE royal family plans to send an air ambulance for Malala Yousufzai in case doctors decide to send her abroad for treatment. Visas were being finalised for the UAE aircraft's crew and six doctors, Pakistan's Ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Jamil Ahmed Khan, told Geo News.

Fight extremism: Karzai to Pak

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has written letters to top political leaders in Pakistan, denouncing the Taliban attack on Malala Yousufzai and asking them to help battle extremism in both countries. Agencies

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