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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.

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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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