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Gabrielle Giffords in a picture posted to her Facebook on Sunday. AP Photo/Giffords Campaign - P.K. Weis
Gabrielle Giffords

Revealed: First pictures of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords since near-fatal shooting

The first images of the Arizona representative since the shooting in January were posted to her Facebook page earlier today.

THE FIRST PICTURES of the US congresswoman who was shot in the head in Arizona in January have been released today.

Having undergone brain surgery that saw part of her skull temporarily removed, Gabrielle Giffords, has spent the last six months recovering from near-fatal injuries in a shooting at a mall in Tuscon, Arizona that killed six people and injured 13 others on 8 January.

The images appeared on Giffords’ Facebook page today and were another indication of the great strides she has made since the shooting with AP reporting that she could be released from her rehabilitation centre in Houston, Texas as early as sometime this month.

Last week her chief of staff Pia Carusone indicated that her progress was much slower than some media had reported and that the congresswoman would spend the rest of her life recovering from the shooting.

It's not entirely clear if and when she will return to politics.

Jared Lee Loughner is suspected of having carried out the shooting on 8 January but last month a US federal judge ruled that the 22-year-old was mentally incompetent to stand trial, putting the criminal case against him on hold indefinitely.

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