Officials have confirmed that a horrifically mutilated Afghan woman who appeared on a controversial Time magazine cover is to undergo surgery in the United States to rebuild her face.
The 18-year-old youngster -- identified in media reports only by her first name Aisha -- will meet with surgeons to discuss how to replace her nose, which was sliced off by the Taliban after she fled her abusive in-laws.
The Afghan teenager has become a symbol of a debate amongst commentators over the nature of the US mission in Afghanistan, with Time arguing Aisha's case demonstrates why the Taliban should never be allowed to return to power.
"Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years," Time's Managing Editor Richard Stengel wrote in an editorial accompanying the August 9 edition of the magazine.
Aisha, whose ears were also hacked off in the attack last year in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, was taken in by the American Provincial Reconstruction Team for Uruzgan and the Women for Afghan Women (WAW) non-governmental organization after being left for dead.
The Grossman Burn Foundation, a non-profit humanitarian hospital in California which provides surgical procedures to victims of serious injuries worldwide, said Aisha would be treated for free.
"The surgery is being donated by Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon Dr Peter Grossman and the team at The Grossman Burn Center," foundation chairwoman Rebecca Grossman told AFP. "The Grossman Burn Foundation is covering additional cost related to Bibi Aisha."
The foundation cited a United Nations report which estimated nearly 90 percent of Afghan women suffered from domestic violence.
"Bibi Aisha is only one example of thousands of girls and women in Afghanistan and throughout the world who are treated this way," the foundation said.
The foundation did not confirm the date of Aisha's surgery.