Man arrested over murder of British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes


LONDON: A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of a British embassy worker in Lebanon, whose body was found strangled and dumped at the side of a highway reports The Telegraph. 

Rebecca Dykes, 30, who had been working at the Department of International Development, was discovered dead on Saturday by the side of a highway leading out of the capital, later postmortem reports suggested that she had been strangled.

The man, identified only by the initials T.H, was arrested at 3 am on Monday morning, according to security sources. He is reported to be a local taxi driver.

Dykes, from London, had been out at a bar on Friday night for the farewell party of an embassy colleague in the central Gemmayzeh neighbourhood of the city.

She left with a friend before midnight, telling others she had an early flight home to catch for Christmas.

The two women parted soon after and it is not clear what happened to Dykes during the four hours before she died around 4 am and her body dumped several miles away on the Metn highway.

Security sources say the murder does not appear to be politically motivated.

Dykes had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January this year.

She had worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 2010, previously on Libya and Iraq.

She is thought to have grown up in Hong Kong but attended Malvern St James Girls boarding school in Worcestershire before later studying anthropology at Manchester University and International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.

In a statement, her family said: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.”

Hugo Shorter, the British ambassador to Lebanon, 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.”

Lebanon is a relatively safe place for foreigners and has been mostly calm since the end of the bloody 15-year civil war in 1990.

Gemmazyeh is a lively area lined with bars and restaurants and usually busy on weekends.