French driver killed in Sahara minefield

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The Independent Online

A Frenchman involved in the Granada-Dakar Rally was killed yesterday when his lorry hit a mine close to the rally route in southern Morocco. Laurent Gueguen, who was driving a support truck for the Citroen team, was said to have veered from the route cleared through a minefield left after the 1976-89 war in the Western Sahara. The truck caught fire, trapping him inside.

Gueguen's co-drivers, Pascal Loudenot and Vincent Baudin, were injured in the accident, which completely destroyed their Mercedes vehicle. They were reported to be in a satisfactory condition and flown back to Europe by air ambulance.

The accident occurred between Foum el Hassan and Smara, 157 kilometres into the fifth stage of the 7,600km event. The rest of the rally vehicles passed through the area, patrolled by United Nations troops, without incident.

More than 30 competitors and spectators have been killed in the race's 18-year history.