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The Dakar Rally will go ahead as planned in January, despite reports of terrorist threats.

Organizers denied reports in two newspapers that French authorities had warned them of dangers in Mali, where the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, an Algerian insurgency movement, is known to operate.

Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne said that French authorities had raised security concerns without evoking specific threats, however.

"We are aware of the global security context in the region, but there is no precise threat to the Dakar route," Lavigne said. "If there were one, we would adapt and change the route."

Race organizers, who have changed routes twice in the past for security reasons, have been in contact with the Foreign Ministry, French embassies and authorities in the countries the rally would cross.

Organizers were continuing preparations for next year's rally, which begins in Lisbon, Portugal, on January 6 and ends in Dakar, Senegal, on January 21.

The rally takes drivers through tough African terrain in Morocco, Mauritania and Mali before reaching Dakar.

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