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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Mar 07th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Revolutions / Extremism arrow Al-Qaeda slams Mauritania over Dakar Rally: Internet
Al-Qaeda slams Mauritania over Dakar Rally: Internet PDF Print E-mail
Written by AFP   
Saturday, 05 January 2008

2008 Track
2008 Track

DUBAI (AFP) — Al-Qaeda in North Africa in a statement posted on the Internet slammed Mauritania for planning to host the Dakar Rally as the organisers cancelled the event on Friday because of security fears.

The government in Nouakchott has been busy "securing for the infidels a suitable climate for the 'Rally'," the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb said in the statement dated December 29 and posted on Islamist militant websites.

In the statement, the authenticity of which could not be independently confirmed, Al-Qaeda said it had carried out a "successful operation" against a Mauritanian army barracks that "killed at least four soldiers" on December 26.

Three Mauritanian soldiers were killed on December 26 in a remote garrison where suspected Islamist extremists killed four French tourists two days earlier, according to security officials in Nouakchott.

In the statement, which also took credit for a series of attacks in Algeria, Al-Qaeda said that the attack on the Mauritanian army took place as the government was busy preparing for the Dakar Rally.

"This operation came at a time when the sky of beloved Nouakchott is sullied by the Israeli flag fluttering over it, at a time when the Mauritanian regime remains (an agent) of the crusaders, detaining Muslim youth and starving the Mauritanian people while guarding its masters, securing for the infidels a suitable climate for the 'Rally' and... fighting the mujahedeen under the banner of the cross," it said.

Organisers of the Dakar Rally said on Friday that the 2008 event has been cancelled because of security concerns, in particular direct "terrorist" threats to the race.

The gruelling car and motorcycle race had been due to start in Lisbon on Saturday, but the December 24 murder of the four French tourists in Mauritania led to the French government advising against any travel there.

Eight of the rally's stages were due to pass through the north African country en route south for Dakar and the scheduled January 20 finish.

Organisers the Amaury Sport Organisation said in a statement there had been "direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups."

It was the first time in its turbulent 30-year history that the controversial race has failed to go ahead.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 05 January 2008 )
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