14 Jan 2011

Shot Congresswoman now sitting up - doctors

4:25 pm on 14 January 2011

Doctors treating a US politician who was shot in the head by a gunman say she is now sitting up and moving her limbs.

The ABC reports surgeons remain upbeat about the prognosis for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the head at point-blank range last Saturday afternoon in Tucson, Arizona.

This is a major leap forward, this is a major milestone, and we're hoping that she crosses through many more, said neurosurgeon Michael Lemole on Thursday.

Ms Giffords, 40, remains in a critical condition.

Doctors also say she has been able to keep her eyes open for up to 15 minutes.

Six people died in the shooting, including a federal judge and a girl aged nine. Fourteen were wounded.

Jared Loughner, 22, who was arrested at the scene, appeared in court in Phoenix on Monday charged with murder and attempted murder.