Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A 14-year-old girl, who was awarded Pakistan's first National Peace Prize for her online diary reporting on the Taliban's ban on education, was shot and wounded on her way home from school Tuesday.
Malala Yousufzai, a frequent target of death threats, was wounded when gunmen opened fire on her school van in Swat valley, police said.
"She has received two bullets wounds, one in her neck," said senior police official Gul Afzal Afridi. "She is in critical condition and the doctors are doing their best to save her."
Malala, a resident of Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan -- one of the most conservative regions of the country -- wrote about her frustration with the Taliban's restrictions on female education in her town.
Using the Internet, she reached out to the outside world, taking a stand by writing about her daily battle with extremist militants who used fear and intimidation to force girls to stay at home.
"I was scared of being beheaded by the Taliban because of my passion for education," Yousufzai told CNN last year. "During their rule, the Taliban used to march into our houses to check whether we were studying or watching television."
Malala said she used to hide her books under her bed, fearing a house search by the Taliban.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani announced the award in November, which also comes with a 500,000 rupee ($5,780) prize. He directed Pakistan's Cabinet to award the national prize every year to a child younger than 18 who contributes to peace and education in the country.
Swat remained under Taliban control for years until 2009, when the military cleared it in an operation that also sparked the evacuation of thousands of families.
Journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report