Dakar Rally to Proceed Through Mauritania Despite Al Qaeda Threat

It looks like organizers of the famed Dakar Rally will still race through the African state of Mauritania from January 11th-19th despite security fears prompted by recent attacks linked to Al-Qaeda. This decision's thanks to Mauritania's announcement it plans to mobilize 2,000 extra soldiers and 2,000 extra plainclothes police to monitor the rally as it passes through the African country. All of the focus on security comes after three soldiers were killed during an armed ambush in the northeast of the country.

And of course, three days earlier, four French adventure tourists were shot dead and a fifth injured by three Mauritanians. This year's rally registrants include 245 motorbikes, 20 quads, 205 cars and 100 trucks - 60 more than this year - in the race which starts in Lisbon on January 5 and covers 9,273 kilometres before finishing in the Senegalese capital Dakar on January 20. [AFP]