Nobel-winning writer Mario Vargas Llosa on Sunday praised Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a women's rights advocate and leading critic of Islam, calling her "one of the most valuable" adversaries of "Islamic fanatics".

In a column in top-selling Spanish daily El Pais, the Peruvian hailed Hirsi Ali's latest book "Heretic" in which she argues for a major overhaul of Islam, akin to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

"Islamic fanatics wanted to bring her to an end and they have not managed to do so, it is not impossible that they will keep trying as she is one of the most articulate, influential and valuable adversaries which they have in the world," Vargas Llosa wrote.

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