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British Embassy Worker Found Strangled in Lebanon

British Embassy Worker Found Strangled in Lebanon

Monday, 18 December, 2017 - 07:00
Rebecca Dykes, a British woman employed at the UK embassy in Lebanon, who has been found murdered. (AFP)

A British embassy worker was found strangled on a highway north of the Lebanese capital on Saturday.

The Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau identified the victim as Rebecca Dykes. Her corpse was found dumped on the Metn highway north of Beirut.

Dykes, 30, had been working at the embassy since January. According to her social media profiles, she was employed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) which issued a statement following confirmation of her death.

"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.

A Lebanese official said on condition of anonymity that investigators were looking into reports that Dykes had been sexually assaulted.

"Our first impression is that it's not politically motivated," he told AFP.

A security source told AFP that the British woman's body had been dumped on the roadside and that strangulation was suspected as a possible cause of death because "she was found with a piece of string around her neck".

She is believed to have been out for a colleague's leaving party in Beirut's Gemmayzeh district on Friday night and left around midnight, UK media reported citing Lebanese sources.

An initial forensics examination indicated she died at around 4:00am (0200 GMT), the Guardian newspaper said.

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said in a statement: "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," he said.

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