Saturday, 21 April, 2018

United Kingdom embassy worker found dead in Lebanon

Beirut murder EXPRESSRebecca Dykes has been named as the victim of an apparent murder in Beirut
Guillermo Lane | 19 December, 2017, 11:42

Lebanese police have arrested a man suspected of killing a British woman who worked for her country's embassy in Beirut.

Rebecca Dykes, 30, was found dead by the side of a highway east of the Lebanese capital on Saturday.

The police spokesman said that Dykes's body bore signs of strangulation and sexual assault, adding officials had no indication that the attack was politically motivated.

The grieving family and friends of Hong Kong-raised Rebecca Dykes - the British diplomatic worker brutally murdered in Lebanon at the weekend - were on Monday night coming to terms with what they described as her "gruesome" killing. "We are doing all we can to understand what happened", the family said in a statement passed on by the Foreign Office. Please send prayers to her, and respect the privacy of our family during this time.

According to Ms Dykes' LinkedIn profile, she had been working as a programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development (DfID) on the United Kingdom government's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme in Lebanon.

The Associated Press reported that Dykes had no money, phone or forms of identification when her body was found Saturday. "Our hearts are with the victim and her family", a company spokesman told AFP in London.

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Friends said she attended a leaving party for a colleague on Friday evening in a bar in a district of the city which known for its restaurants and nightlife and is regarded as safe by most locals and expatriates, including for young women on their own.

The driver allegedly confessed to attempting to rape Ms Dykes before strangling her with a rope, Lebanese state media reported. "We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can".

"Our thoughts are with Becky's family and friends at this very upsetting time", DFID said, adding that the Foreign Office was working with authorities in Lebanon as the police probe gets underway.

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter tweeted Sunday: "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news".

A suspect was arrested over the death of a British diplomat in Beirut, according to judicial sources. "Our thoughts are with the family at this hard time".

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