After the explosion of a vehicle, should the Dakar 2022 be stopped?

Should the Dakar rally be stopped in Saudi Arabia? The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, asked the question this Friday, January 7, recalling that the recent explosion of a car was ” may be “ linked to a ” terrorist attack “. “We thought maybe it was worth giving up on this sporting event. The organizers have decided to [la] to keep “, he said on BFMTV and RMC radio.

“In these cases, you have to be very careful, at least put in place sufficient and reinforced protection devices. I think they did, but, in any case, the question remains “, he added. “There may have been a terrorist attack on the Dakar”, said the head of French diplomacy, calling on the Saudi authorities to “The greatest transparency”.

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Accident, repatriation and investigation … What we know about the explosion on the Dakar 2022

“The question that arises relates to what happened and not to the possible suspension of the Dakar 2022, then specified his entourage. We have alerted the Saudi authorities as well as the organizers to the need to postpone the start of the race, or to strengthen its security. It is not excluded that it is about an attack. “

Investigation entrusted to the DGSI

The explosion that hit the car on December 30 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, seriously injured French driver Philippe Boutron. Saudi authorities have referred to a ” accident “. But Paris stressed from the start that “The hypothesis of a criminal act” was not ruled out.

The French national anti-terrorism prosecution announced that it had opened a preliminary investigation on Tuesday for “attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and entrusted the investigation to the French internal secret services, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI).

“We told both the organizers and the Saudi officials that we had to be very transparent about what had just happened, because there were assumptions that it could be a terrorist act., noted Jean-Yves Le Drian. There have already been terrorist acts in Saudi Arabia against French interests. “

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Emmanuel Macron in the Gulf, the French “realpolitik” in action

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In October 2020, a knife attack injured a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah. Two weeks later, an attack in the same city targeted a ceremony for the anniversary of the armistice of November 11, 1918, in the presence of Western diplomats, especially French, leaving two wounded.

The senator from Loiret (center), Jean-Pierre Sueur, said he had entered the Quai d’Orsay on the explosion that struck Philippe Boutron, who has since come out of a coma. “He asked him in particular if he could inform him of the reasons why the facts had been concealed” in Saudi Arabia, according to a statement. “He finally asked the Quai d’Orsay what arrangements he had taken or was going to take to allow the DGSI to have all the necessary means in Saudi Arabia to carry out its investigations. “

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