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Gun victim Gabrielle Giffords makes progress, say doctors

US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords say she has been making amazingly strong progress each day since an attempted assassination on Saturday.

Giffords is moving both legs and both arms, has opened both eyes and is responding to friends and family, doctors said yesterday.

The news emerged as a funeral service was being held for nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of Saturday's shooting in Arizona.

Giffords' neurosurgeon, Dr Michael Lemole, called the progress “a major milestone,” and said the congresswoman was clearly responding to the gathering of friends and family.

The updated medical reports came a day after President Barack Obama travelled to Tucson and appealed for unity at a memorial service for those attacked in the Arizona shooting rampage, and he implored a divided America to

honour them by becoming a |better country.

Obama electrified the crowd on Wednesday by revealing that following his hospital visit with Giffords, she had opened her eyes for the first time since being shot point-blank in the head in the |assassination attempt.

The shooting happened last Saturday as Giffords, a Democrat who represents southern Arizona, was holding a community outreach event in a Tucson shopping center car park. A gunman shot her in the head and worked his way down the line of people waiting to talk with her. The attack ended when bystanders tackled the man, Jared Lee Loughner (22), who is in custody.

Giffords is expected to survive, although her condition and the |extent of her recovery remain in doubt. The 40-year-old was less |sedated and more responsive and her doctors said that her recovery was going as anticipated.

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