Following meetings between the head of security for the Lisbon-Dakar Rally and government authorities in Mauritania, race organizers, undeterred by recent terrorist attacks in the country, have announced that the event will go on as planned.
Last week, terrorists in Mauritania shot and killed four French tourists and four Mauritanian soldiers. Reports indicated that the attacks were perpetrated by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the infamous terrorist network's North African wing, praying on fears that the militants were expanding southwards from their previous activities in Morocco and Algeria.
Last year's rally had two stages canceled due to security concerns regarding Algerian rebels. This year's rally is set to depart from Lisbon, Portugal, on January 5, passing through Mauritania on January 11 en route to the finish line in Dakar, Senegal, on January 20, covering a total of 9000km (5600 miles).