June 3, 2023

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Dakar rally car blast reportedly caused by a bomb

Philippe Boutron and Mayeul Barbet racing in the 2020 Dakar Rally. (Reuters)


PARIS — An explosion less than a guidance vehicle at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia that hurt French race driver Philippe Boutron on Dec. 30 was caused by an improvised explosive product, a French resource acquainted with the investigation claimed on Friday.

Confirming a report by RTL radio, the supply advised Reuters that investigators experienced observed traces of explosives on Boutron’s wrecked car in Saudi Arabia.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has reported that there were being suspicions of a terrorist assault, but Saudi Arabia’s overseas ministry claimed on Jan. 8 that an preliminary investigation into the blast had not elevated any criminal suspicions.

A second explosion at the Dakar rally, under a truck belonging to the staff of Camelia Liparoti on Dec. 31, is also underneath investigation by French law enforcement. French radio RMC stated the truck’s driver read a “growth” prior to a hearth broke out.

French anti-terrorism prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into the explosion in January. French RMC radio reported that a team together with French DGSI top secret service agents and an investigating magistrate traveled to Saudi Arabia, where by the rally was held, for various days. They also questioned witnesses in France on their return from Saudi Arabia.

French Overseas Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stated at the time that “there were being hypotheses” that the incident “was a terrorist assault”.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said on Jan. 8 that an preliminary investigation into the to start with blast experienced not raised any prison suspicions. But French authorities mentioned the Saudis have been cooperating with the investigation.

The Dakar Rally was originally a race from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, but it was moved to South The united states for 2009-2019 simply because of political unrest in Africa. It was moved once more, to Saudi Arabia, in 2020.