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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Body of British diplomat who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut is found by the side of a motorway as murder probe is launched

  • Rebecca Dykes was found dead by the side of the road after she was strangled
  • She started working for the government in 2010 and was a diplomat in Lebanon
  • Authorities are investigating whether Ms Dykes was sexually assaulted before

  • A female British diplomat in Lebanon has been found dead after being strangled in Beirut, senior police sources say.
    Rebecca Dykes, 30, was found on Saturday night close to the Metn expressway, in Lebanon's capital, reports Al Jadeed TV.
    Police are investigating whether Ms Dykes, from London, had been sexually assaulted before she was found dead.  
    Ms Dykes started working for the government in 2010 and she had reportedly been at a bar in the centre of the city before the attack.

    Rebecca Dykes, a UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has been found murdered

    Rebecca Dykes, a UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, has been found murdered

    Police are investigating whether Ms Dykes (pictured), 30, was sexually before her body was found

    Police are investigating whether Ms Dykes (pictured), 30, was sexually before her body was found

    Her body has reportedly been transferred to the Dahr al-Bashak Hospital for a post-mortem examination. 
    An official involved in the investigation said that the crime did not appear to be political. 
    The official, who was speaking anonymously, said: 'Our first impression is that it's not politically motivated.' 
    The Lebanese official said her body was found 'on the side of the Emile Lahoud road', just north of Beirut.  
    Al Jadeed TV reports Ms Dykes had been raped and the official said investigators are probing whether she was sexually assaulted.

    British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, said: 'The whole embassy is deeply shocked and saddened by this news. 
    'Our thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.
    'We are providing consular support to Becky's family and working very closely with the Lebanese local authorities who are conducting the police investigation.'
    She joined the Department for International Development and had been working as a programme and policy manager based in Lebanon since January. 
    Before she moved to Beirut she worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the Libya team as a policy manager. She had previously worked as an Iraq Research Analyst with the FCO.

    Her body was found on Saturday close to the Metn expressway (pictured) in Lebanon's capital (pictured)
    Her body was found on Saturday close to the Metn expressway (pictured) in Lebanon's capital (pictured)
     Ms Dykes was working in Beirut (pictured) and her body has been found close to the busy road
    Ms Dykes was working in Beirut (pictured) and her body has been found close to the busy road

    The University of Manchester graduate also had a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London. 
    A family spokesman said: 'We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.
    'We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.' 
    A spokesman for the Department for International Development where she worked said: 'Our thoughts are with Becky's family and friends at this very upsetting time.
    'There is now a police investigation and the FCO (Foreign Office) is providing consular support to Becky's family and working with the local authorities.'
    A Foreign Office spokesman added: 'Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family. 
    'We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.' 

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