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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 12pm

Malala Yousafzai loses out on Nobel Peace Prize

Teenage Pakistani education rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai has lost out on the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize which was won by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Nobel Committee announced on Friday.

Malala,16, had been hotly tipped to become the youngest ever Nobel Laureate when the awards were announced in Oslo.

In its announcement, the Committee said: "The conventions and the work of the OPCW have defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law.  Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons."

Many had ventured that Malala winning the Peace Prize - previously won by the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - was a foregone conclusion.

The teenager and her team of advisors had embarked on a publicity blitz in the past week when she appeared on CNN and on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart in the US.

On Wednesday she also won the $67,000 European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought with Parliamentary President Martin Schulz describing Malala as a "brave advocate for education".

Malala's activism started after the Taliban banned girls from schools in Pakistan's Swat Valley in 2009.

She anonymously blogged for the BBC in opposition to that order, and became an open advocate for girls' education.

A year later, she was riding the bus home from school when a Taliban gunman climbed aboard and shot her in the head. She nearly died.

Since then, Malala has recovered and continued advocating for girls' education, despite ongoing death threats from the Taliban.

Speaking on the Daily Show, Malala outlined her approach to those threats:  "I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me.

But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.'  But then I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib.

You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will tell him, 'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'

Many people in Pakistan took to Twitter to express their disappointment at Malala not winning although others said they were relieved as becoming a Nobel Laureate would have been a "burden" on the youngster.

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