What had been set to be the longest edition yet of the Dakar Rally now won't happen at all. A day before the race was due to kick off in Lisbon on Saturday, organizers decided to cancel the entire event. A series of terrorist attacks, including the Dec. 24 killing of a French family in Mauritania and another where several soldiers were killed along with direct threats against the race, triggered the first cancellation in the race's thirty year history. Both Mitsubishi and Volkswagen were expected to campaign squads of clean diesel-powered off-road racers. In total, 550 cars, trucks and motorcycles were expected to compete. The race has long been considered one of the most difficult rallies in the world and in the past individual stages have been canceled for various regions. At this point the future of the race is uncertain.

[Source: Associated Press]

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