Rallying: South America set to host next Dakar Rally

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The Independent Online

The 2009 Dakar Rally will be staged in South America after this year's event was cancelled due to security concerns in Africa, organisers said yesterday.

The event for cars, trucks and motorcycles will take place in Argentina and Chile from 3 to 18 January, a spokesman for the French organisers, Amaury Sport Organisation, announced.

Details of next year's race will be announced at a later date. The organisers did not say whether the event's name would be changed.

The Dakar Rally, originally known as the Paris-Dakar, had been staged entirely or mostly in Africa for its 30-year history.

It was cancelled for the first time last month due to security concerns in Mauritania where four French tourists were killed by suspected al Qaeda rebels in December. Organisers had been warned against a "terrorist risk" in Mauritania by the French government.