Dakar Rally officials are determined to keep the event alive despite the cancellation of this year's rally because of terrorist threats.

"We will do everything for the 2009 rally to take place,” French Sports Minister Bernard Laporte said on radio yesterday.

He wants the rally to remain "on the African continent, without which there would be no Dakar (rally)."

But the chief of organiser ASO, Patrice Clerc, was more cautious.

"We will not let Africa go," he said. "We will go to Africa to talk of the future. But we will not play with security. The planet is vast enough to do 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres in 15 or 20 days in sandy zones."

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