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Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 11:21 GMT
Rally resumes after airlift

Vehicles unloaded in Libya Hundreds of vehicles were flown across the desert


Drivers competing in the Dakar rally are on their way again, after a terrorist threat prompted a massive airlift of vehicles.

The race across the desert resumed on Monday in the Libyan town of Sabha.

The airlift was organised so that the drivers would not have to pass through parts of Niger close to the Algerian border, where the French Government had warned of possible terrorist attacks.


Dakar Rally 2000
11,000km over 17 stages
Passes through 6 countries
407 entries, 31 nationalities
Over half usually drop out
Finish at foot of Pyramids
More than 1,000 drivers and support team members and their 500 vehicles were flown from Niamey, the capital of Niger, to Sabha.

The cars, vans and motorcycles competing in the race are now expected to cover 1,600km (1,000 miles) before entering Egypt on Thursday for the final stages of the race.

Algerian Islamists are being blamed for the disruption, which cost several million dollars.

Click here for a map of the rally

The Niger Government reacted unhappily to the TSO decision, saying all necessary precautions had been taken.

Troubled history

The four cancelled legs would have involved racing across about 3,000km (2,000 miles) of desert terrain.


Spain's Juan Roma Drivers are now heading for Egypt
The race was originally between Paris and Dakar, but has taken different routes in recent years.

This year's event, which covers almost 11,000km (6,900 miles) in 17 stages, is confined to North Africa.

It was scheduled to run through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Libya before ending in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on 23 January.

The rally has taken a regular toll of spectators, participants and reporters over its 22 years - at least 38 have died.

Last year, an armed gang in Mauritania robbed 52 competitors. As they drove away with eight vehicles, money and other valuables, the gang's leader waved, shouting: "See you next year!"




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18 Jan 00 |  Africa
Dakar rally in pictures
13 Jan 00 |  Africa
Desert airlift: In pictures
11 Jan 00 |  Africa
Terrorist threat disrupts Dakar rally
14 Jan 99 |  Africa
Rally drivers ambushed

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