22 March 2018

Suspect arrested over death of British diplomat in Beirut

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A suspect has been arrested over the death of a British diplomat in Beirut, a judicial source has told the Guardian. reports citing The Guardian that, the body of Rebecca Dykes was reportedly found on the side of a motorway in the early hours of Saturday morning. The circumstances surrounding her death were unclear, but local police officials suggested she had been strangled.

Her body was found without any identity papers on the Metn highway, which leads out of the Lebanese capital to the north-east suburbs. A forensic examination suggested she had died at around 4am on Saturday.

A Lebanese judicial source told the Guardian that Dykes, who was believed to be 30 years old, had spent the evening with friends at a cafe in Gemmayze, a district of Beirut known for its bars and restaurants. She is thought to have left on her own at around midnight.

No details have been provided on the suspect, who was only identified by their initials, T H, in Lebanese media outlets. The suspect was arrested on Monday morning.

The British ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, tweeted about Dykes’ death: “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 the police investigation.”

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.”

Dykes worked as a programme and policy manager with the Department for International Development and as a policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office, according to her LinkedIn page.

She had previously worked as an Iraq research analyst with the Foreign Office. She had a degree from Manchester University and a masters in international security and global governance from Birkbeck, University of London.

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.”

The information branch of Lebanon’s internal security forces, the intelligence department of the police, is conducting the investigation.

2017.12.18 / 12:59
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