Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet from near her spinal cord during a three-hour operation the day after the attack last week, but she now needs intensive specialist follow-up care.

Authorities have said they have made several arrests in connection with the case but have given no details.

Pakistan's Taliban today described Yousufzai as a "spy of the West".

"For this espionage, infidels gave her awards and rewards. And Islam orders killing of those who are spying for enemies," the group said in a statement.