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Dakar 2008: Mauretania suspects other reasons for cancellation.

The government of Mauritania said Saturday it regretted the decision by organisers of the Lisbon-Dakar rally to cancel the 2008 edition of the international event. It also said the decision "has no connection with the reality in terms of security". While admitting, in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that "two separate criminal acts" were registered in the country, Mauritanian authorities deplored conclusions describing Mauritania as an insecure country.

The Mauritanian authorities noted that they had stepped up security measures after the two incidents, in coordination with friendly and brotherly countries. Eight stages of the rally were to be held in Mauritania, and the cancellation is considered as a serious blow to the tourism and hotel industry in the country.

2008/01/07 | 14:28 CET | Source: Nouakchott Newspapers

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