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Dakar rally car blast caused by improvised explosive device – source – Metro US

Dakar rally car blast caused by improvised explosive device – source

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Dakar Rally
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Dakar Rally

PARIS (Reuters) – An explosion under a support vehicle at the Dakar rally in Saudi Arabia that injured French race driver Philippe Boutron on Dec. 30 was caused by an improvised explosive device, a French source familiar with the investigation said on Friday.

Confirming a report by RTL radio, the source told Reuters that investigators had found traces of explosives on Boutron’s wrecked vehicle in Saudi Arabia.

French anti-terrorism prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into the explosion in January.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said that there were suspicions of a terrorist attack, but Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said on Jan. 8 that an initial investigation into the blast had not raised any criminal suspicions.

A second explosion at the Dakar rally, under a truck belonging to the team of Camelia Liparoti on Dec. 31, is also under investigation by French police.

(Reporting by Tangi Salaun and GV De Clercq; Editing by Kevin Liffey, William Maclean)

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