Updated: 18/12/17 : 07:51:58
Printable Version   Bookmark and Share Share This

world

World :: Arrest following death of British Embassy woman in Beirut

Police in Lebanon investigating the murder of a British woman who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut have arrested a man, a source has said.

Rebecca Dykes's body was found on the side of a motorway on Saturday.

She had been strangled, the BBC was told by police sources, who said the suspect worked as a taxi driver.

Her family said in a statement: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened."

The added: "We request that the media respect our privacy."

Ms Dykes, who is believed to have been in her early 30s, had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017.

It is thought Ms Dykes had spent Friday evening at a going-away party for a colleague in the popular Gemmayzeh district of Beirut, the BBC's Middle East correspondent Martin Patience said.

After leaving the bar at about midnight it appears she was abducted. Her body was found close to a motorway on the outskirts of the city.

Local police say a second post-mortem examination is to be carried out later.

Hugo Shorter, the British Ambassador to Lebanon, tweeted that the whole embassy was "deeply shocked" and "saddened" by the news.

A DfID spokesman said: "Our thoughts are with Becky's family and friends at this very upsetting time."

The Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Lebanese authorities following the death of a British woman in Beirut.