Peshawar, Pakistan (CNN)Ten people have been sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the 2012 attack on Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai, a judge announced Thursday.The assailants’ conviction and sentences
follow a trial that included testimony from both sides, Pakistani antiterrorism judge Mohammad Amin Kundi said. They could be eligible for release in 25 years.The 10 were arrested in Swat, a district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said last September.That was nearly two years after the then 15-year-old Yousafzai, whom Taliban militants despised for her outspoken support of girls’ right to an education, was shot as she was traveling home on a school bus.Authorities in Pakistan said the people involved in the attack were linked to the Pakistan Taliban and were taking orders from its leader, Mullah Fazlullah. In fact, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault against Yousafzai, whom they labeled “a symbol of the infidels and obscenity” for her activism, including a BBC blog documenting her harrowing experiences.It’s not known if the men who directly attacked Yousafzai — who was born in the Swat city of Mingora but has since moved to England — were among those convicted and sentenced this week. Around the time of their arrest, Bajwa said that “we were able to track down the entire gang,” known as Shura. All of them are residents of Malakand, which is also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.Yousafzai not only survived that attack, she went on to become an even more vocal and influential international activist. In fact, her efforts helped earn her the Nobel Peace Prize — which she shared with India’s Kailash Satyarthi — last year.Malala at U.N.: The Taliban failed to silence usJournalist Zahir Shah reported from Peshawar, and CNN’s Greg Botelho wrote this report from Atlanta.