French prosecutors on Tuesday said that they had initiated the terror investigation into a bomb blast on December 30 in Saudi Arabia targeting a French car driver, who in turn sustained injuries as he was there to participate in the Dakar rally.
In a statement, national anti-terror prosecutors said, “An initial investigation has been initiated into multiple-attempted killings in link with a terrorist group.”
The statement further added that, “all five occupants in the car, including the driver, were French.”
It has provided no additional details on the Jeddah bomb blast, in which driver Philippe Boutron sustained injuries and have undergone surgeries in Saudi Arabia for major leg injuries before heading back to France.
The organisers said, “the incident is not related to racing, while Saudi authorities have assured that there has been no criminal investigation made into the explosion.”
Meanwhile, France’s foreign ministry later updated its warning on Saudi Arabia, contradicting statements of both the Saudi authorities and the organisers on the incident.
Later, it said on its website after the blast took place, “an appeal for maximum attention-security risk.”
It further added, “Saudi authorities are already initiating an enquiry into the case to get to the reason of this bomb blast. The possibility of a criminal act has not been ruled out.”
The prevalent race, once called as the Paris-Dakar but now just known as the Dakar, was once held in Paris and followed a course to Dakar, Senegal.
But due to the security concerns along the route in North Africa, it was later moved to South America in 2009 and to Saudi Arabia in 2020.
The final stage of this year’s edition, called as the Dakar 2022, is to occur on January 14.