Dakar Rally: France opens terrorism probe into Saudi Arabia blast


French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into a blast in Saudi Arabia that badly wounded a French driver in the Dakar Rally.

The explosion damaged a support vehicle for the Sodicars Racing team as it left a hotel in Jeddah last Thursday.


The driver, Philippe Boutron, suffered serious leg injuries. He was later repatriated to France and has been placed in a medically-induced coma.

Saudi authorities have not commented on the French prosecutors' decision.

Saudi police said on Saturday that a preliminary investigation into the explosion had found there was "no criminal suspicion", but rally organiser ASO told reporters that officers had not yet ruled out a "malicious act".


The Dakar Rally, which started in 1978 as a race from Paris to the Senegalese capital, has been held in Saudi Arabia since 2020 for safety reasons.