Then the Taliban in 2007 began infiltrating the valley just 280 kilometers (175 miles) from the capital, eventually assuming near-total control of the region before being ejected in a massive Pakistani military operation in 2009.
The takeover, as well as the Taliban's brutal treatment of civilians in the region, shocked many Pakistanis, who considered militancy to be a far-away problem in Afghanistan or Pakistan's rugged tribal regions.
But Tuesday's attack demonstrated that the Taliban have not been eradicated from the valley and are trying to make their presence felt even three years after the offensive to oust them.
Malala was nominated last year for the International Children's Peace Prize, which is organized by the Dutch organization KidsRights to highlight the work of children around the world. She also was honored last year with one of Pakistan's highest awards for civilians for her bravery.
Associated Press writer Sherid Zada in Mingora, Munir Ahmed in Islamabad and Adil Jawad in Karachi contributed to this report.
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