France. Paris-Dakar rally marred by helicopter crash

The organizer of the Paris-Dakar auto rally through north Africa died last week in a helicopter crash in the desert in Mali, French radio reported. The rally press center confirmed the crash, which occurred during a violent sandstorm.

The rally will continue as planned. It began in Versailles on Jan. 1 with nearly 500 competitors heading for Dakar in Senegal, where they were due on Jan. 22.

Sabine, who conceived the rally, had drawn criticism from France's intellectual left for running the event through some of the world's poorest countries.

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