A terrorist investigation was opened Tuesday, January 4 in Paris, after the explosion that hit a Dakar 2022 vehicle in Saudi Arabia and injured a Frenchman. The preliminary investigation, carried out by the national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office (Pnat), is open to “Attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.
The investigations into this explosion, which took place on December 30 in Jeddah (but announced only two days later), which injured “Seriously the driver of the car”, are entrusted to the Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI), said the Pnat in a press release.
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Severely injured in the leg, the injured Philippe Boutron, 61, was repatriated after undergoing surgery in Saudi Arabia. He is now being treated at the Percy de Clamart military hospital, according to a press release, Tuesday, January 4, from the Sodicars team to which he belongs. He was placed in an artificial coma to relieve his pain, we say.
The criminal act is “not ruled out”
Saudi authorities had ruled out on Saturday 1er January the trail of a criminal act to explain what they called ” accident “. For its part, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on its nationals to “Maximum vigilance”, adding on the contrary that “The hypothesis of a criminal act” was not “Not discarded” and recalling that “The terrorist threat persists in Saudi Arabia”. The organization of the race had explained that a “Malicious act” was not excluded.
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Also president of the Union sportive Orléans Football, third division club, Philippe Boutron was driving the vehicle when the explosion occurred near the hotel where its occupants had just spent the night. The crew were heading to the stadium where checks were taking place on the cars scheduled to take part in the famous rally-raid, which began two days later.
Another pilot, Thierry Richard, 57, who was in the vehicle at the time of the explosion, spoke of “War scenes”, moments “Very difficult”. According to the Bordeaux resident, six people were on board, including him in the passenger seat.
Saudi authorities declined to comment, as did Sodicars director Richard Gonzalez.