British diplomat Rebecca Dykes found dead in Beirut, taxi driver arrested
Lebanese police officials said that a suspect, a taxi driver, has been arrested in the case
A British woman, who worked with the embassy of the United Kingdom (UK), was found dead in Beirut. Reports state that Rebecca Dykes' body was found on the side of a motorway early on Saturday morning.
Although the exact circumstances which led to her death were unclear, the local police officials said that she had been strangled, according to BBC reports.
Dykes' body was found on the Metn highway, which leads to the north-east suburbs out of Beirut. No identity papers were reportedly found on her body, and a forensic examination concluded that she had died at around 4 am on Saturday.
Lebanese police officials said that a suspect, a taxi driver, has been arrested in the case. An official added that the suspect had confessed to killing the British diplomat and that the murder was not politically motivated.
The authorities have deemed the incident as a "criminal act" and are trying to determine whether Dykes was also sexually assaulted before she was strangled to death.
A Lebanese judicial official said that Dykes, who is believed to be 30-years-old, had spent Friday evening at a cafe in Gemmayze with her friends. She reportedly left the place on her own at around midnight, according to The Guardian's report.
The embassy staff is reportedly shocked after hearing of Dykes' death, while her family has been left "devastated" by the news.
According to police, Dyke was strangled with a rope and was found dead by the side of the road. She was due to fly home for Christmas.
Lebanese security force detains a Lebanese taxi driver suspected of killing female British embassy employee Rebecca Dykes, reports Reuters…— Tim Wilcox (@heikibutsugoso) December 18, 2017
"We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened," a family spokesperson said.
"We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time," they added.
Nope.— Mr Мaitra (@MrMaitra) December 18, 2017
I just had the same argument with a girl who lectured me on how the British diplomat killed in Lebanon was a "free woman" and I said, yea, she perhaps didn't carry the "No Means No" sign well.
According to Dykes' LinkedIn page, she was working as a programme and policy manager with the Department for International Development and as policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office (FCO).
She had also worked as an Iraq Research Analyst with the FCO in the past.
Dykes was a University of Manchester graduate, also had a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.
British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said: "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news.
"My thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss. We're providing consular support to her family and working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation," Shorter said on Twitter.
The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss. We're providing consular support to her family & working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.— Hugo Shorter (@HugoShorter) December 17, 2017
Foreign Office spokesperson also issued a statement saying, "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.”
Tragic news of beirut diplomat #RebeccaDykes murdered by a taxi driver. DFID staff undergo hostile environment training & should be situationaly aware, this is looking more & more like wrong place wrong time. #ViolentWorld pic.twitter.com/mIYAXzEgVr— Richard C Pendry (@RichardCPendry) December 18, 2017
Reports state that the information branch of Lebanon’s internal security forces, the intelligence department of the police, is currently conducting the investigation.
“There is now a police investigation and the FCO is providing consular support to Becky’s family and working with the local authorities," a Department for International Development spokesman said.
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