First photos of shot U.S. lawmaker Giffords released

The first photographs of smiling congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords since she was shot in the head at a community event in Tucson on January 8 were posted on her Facebook account on Sunday.

Giffords, 40, was the target of a mass shooting by 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner that killed six and wounded another 13.

The injury Giffords received led to brain swelling – it required the removal of a portion of her skull to relieve pressure. The woman has been in a rehab facility since she was released from hospital.

The released photos show the congresswoman with her hair trimmed short.

Since the shooting, the only time the public was able to glimpse Giffords was April 27 as she boarded a plane to Florida to watch astronaut husband Mark Kelly launch into space.

MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) 

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