France Investigate Alleged Terrorism in Dakar Rally Explosions in Saudi Arabia

France Investigate Alleged Terrorism in Dakar Rally Explosions in Saudi Arabia

French prosecutors said Tuesday that they had launched a terrorism investigation into the explosion under a French vehicle that was taking part in the Paris-Dakar rally in Saudi Arabia. The explosion, which left one of the rally participants seriously injured, hit a support vehicle belonging to the French team Sodicars immediately after leaving his hotel in Jeddah to follow the race route.

This was said by the team and the race organizers as quoted by Reuters, Wednesday (5/1/2022). Five members of the team were in the vehicle at the time of the incident and one of them, driver Philippe Boutron, suffered a serious leg injury. French newspaper L'Equipe quoted one of the team as saying the explosion ripped through the base of the vehicle which caught fire.

Ummatimes - Boutron has now been evacuated to France and is in a coma at the Percy Military Hospital, near Paris, accompanied by his family. News of the explosion emerged last weekend, but at the time rally organizers and sporting bodies did not explain what exactly happened.

France's anti-terrorist prosecutor said he had launched a preliminary investigation into the terrorist-motivated assassination attempt. Prosecutors also said France's domestic counter-terrorism agency was entrusted with investigating the case. Saudi Arabia's state media office CIC did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Saudi Arabia was the scene of a series of large-scale militant attacks targeting the West in the 2000s. But the attacks had stopped. But in late 2020, an explosion during a World War I memorial service organized by the French consulate in Jeddah injured several people. It was the first attack using explosives in years to target foreigners in the Gulf Arab country.

The previous month a Saudi national was arrested for assaulting and wounding a security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah. The Paris-Dakar Rally, one of the most famous events in the world of motorsports, no longer follows its original route between France and West Africa. Organizers hold it in different locations around the world. For the last few editions, Saudi Arabia has become the venue for this race to be held.