British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes was found dead in Beirut, Lebanon, after allegedly being sexually assaulted and left at the side of a road.
Rebecca Dykes, a 30-year-old British diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Lebanon, was found dead close to the Metn expressway in Beirut, reports the Daily Mail. Dykes began working at the embassy in 2010 and had reportedly been seen at a bar in the city on Friday night before she was attacked sometime after midnight.
Al Jadeed TV reported that Dykes had been sexually assaulted, but investigators have yet to confirm whether or not this report is accurate.
After Dykes’ body was transported to Dahr al-Bashak Hospital, a forensic official reported that she had been strangled to death with a rope. An official investigating the murder stated that it did not appear to be “politically motivated”. According to police officials, Dykes’ body was found the Emile Lahoud road north of Beirut city. Hugo Shorter, the UK ambassador to Lebanon, commented on the murder of Dykes:
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.
According to Dykes’ friends, she was planning on returning home to England on Saturday to celebrate Christmas. Dykes began working for the Department for International Development in 2010 and had been acting as a programme and policy manager based in Lebanon since January 2017.
Dykes had experience working in a number of Middle Eastern countries; before working in Beirut, she had worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the Libya team acting as a policy manager, before that she had worked as an Iraq Research Analyst with the FCO.
A spokesman for Dykes’ family commented on her death: “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 representative of the Department for International Development where Dykes 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 said: “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.”