France begins terrorism probe into Saudi Arabia blast ahead of Dakar Rally
French prosecutors have launched a terrorism investigation into an explosion in Saudi Arabia that injured a French driver with Sodicars racing prior to the Dakar Rally. According to French officials, the blast hit a support vehicle belonging to the French team shortly after they left their hotel in Jeddah for the race route. The blast injured driver Philippe Boutron, according to race organizers and team members. Five passengers in the car with Boutron were unharmed. The investigation will determine whether the attack was an attempted assassination or related to a terrorist group.
The driver was repatriated on Monday to the Percy Military Hospital in Clamart, where he was immediately treated by medical professionals. On Tuesday, Sodicars released a statement reporting that Boutron was placed in an artificial coma for the time being, however, his son has since reported that he is out. The French Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a statement warning of terrorist threats in Saudi Arabia and advising its citizens abroad to exercise maximum vigilance in daily life.