In this undated photo, 15-year-old Pakistani shooting victim Malala Yousufzai recovers in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

London - Doctors treating the girl who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen have revealed how close she came to death, detailing how the bullet that struck her failed to penetrate her skull.

As pictures of a bandaged but fully conscious Malala Yousafzai lying in her Birmingham hospital bed were beamed around the world on Friday, doctors said that the 15-year-old Pakistani girl had overcome incredible odds since she was shot 10 days ago.

Those treating the teenager said that despite being struck at point blank range, the bullet followed an astonishingly lucky trajectory, striking her left brow and travelling under her skin into her neck.

The shock wave from the bullet caused small pieces of her skull to break off into her brain but she otherwise managed to avoid a potentially fatal cerebral injury.

The shooting of Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right for women to go to school, caused international headlines and widespread revulsion in Pakistan against the brutality of its home-grown Taliban movements.

A local Taliban group in the Swat valley claimed to have organised the hit but, as criticism of their actions mounted, al-Qa'ida's media wing, a prominent Uzbek militant group and Pakistan's largest Taliban network Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan also issued justifications for her shooting.

Militants view Malala with contempt because she has encouraged women to be educated, something the more conservative elements of the Taliban view as “Western thinking” and theologically unacceptable.

After surviving the attack she was initially treated in Pakistan by doctors who removed the bullet from her neck. But on Monday she was flown to Britain to receive specialist medical attention from doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, who have detailed experience in dealing with gunshot wound victims.

Doctors treating the young shooting victim announced on Friday that Malala had been brought out of a medically induced coma and had been able to stand and write.

But they warned she was still at risk and is currently battling an infection. - The Independent