First photos of shot congresswoman
The first photos of Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head in a mass shooting in Tucson about five months ago have been released.
The photos appeared on her Facebook page.
Both pictures show the congresswoman outside. In one she is alone and smiling at the camera, her hair trimmed short with the skin on the side of her head slightly discoloured but with no clear sign of any scarring. In the other, she is sitting with a woman.
Ms Giffords has been in a Houston rehab facility since two weeks after the January 8 shooting. Six people were killed and 13 were injured.
Since the shooting, the only time the public was able to glimpse Ms Giffords was April 27 as she boarded a plane to Florida to watch astronaut husband Mark Kelly launch into space.
Last month as Mr Kelly was orbiting Earth, doctors repaired Ms Giffords' skull, finally freeing her from wearing a cumbersome protective helmet that her staff members say she hated.
Since the shooting, Ms Giffords has made remarkable strides, requesting her favourite foods, singing her favourite songs, and relearning how to walk and talk, although she struggles to string sentences together.
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the shooting and is being held at a Missouri facility. A judge declared him incompetent to stand trial, but prosecutors hope his competency can be restored so he can answer for the charges.