Al Attiyah closes gap on leader

Nasser Al Attiyah won Thursday's sixth stage of the Dakar Rally to close the gap on overall race leader Stephane Peterhansel.

The Team Qatar Red Bull driver claimed his 17th career stage win on the 438-kilometre run from Arica to Calama, finishing nearly eight minutes clear to slash the gap to the Monster X-Raid Mini of Peterhansel to one minute 18 seconds.

Al Attiyah's team-mate Carlos Sainz was forced to drop out of the race with engine failure 179km into the stage.

In the motorcycle category, Chile's Francisco Lopez (KTM) took victory on home soil to close around six minutes of overall leader Olivier Pain (Yamaha).

Today's stage was overshadowed by a fatal accident on Wednesday night that left two dead.

The three-vehicle accident occurred when a race support vehicle collided head-on with a taxi close to the border between Peru and Chile. A second taxi overturned several times as it attempted to avoid the accident, which happened at 2130 local time.

The driver and a passenger in the first taxi were both killed, while three passengers in the support vehicle belonging to the Race2Recovery team - all of them British - were among seven people who were injured and taken to hospitals in Tacna, Peru.

Peruvian authorities began an immediate inquiry into the accident, while several of the race's security and paramedic vehicles were deployed to assist local emergency services in the aftermath of the collision.