Man arrested after killing of British embassy worker in Beirut

Body of Rebecca Dykes found dumped at side of motorway after colleague’s leaving party


Lebanese police have arrested a man in connection with the killing of a British embassy worker in Beirut.

Rebecca Dykes, believed to be 30, had been strangled with a rope and her body dumped at the side of a motorway in the east of the capital, police said.

An official said the suspect confessed that he killed Ms Dykes and that the murder was a “criminal act” and not politically motivated.

On Sunday, forensic investigators said they were investigating whether Ms Dykes, who had been due to fly home for Christmas, was sexually assaulted.

According to reports she had been at a colleague’s leaving party in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut on Friday night.

Ms Dykes was working as a programme and policy manager with the Department for International Development and as policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office (FCO), according to her LinkedIn page.

She had previously worked as an Iraq research analyst with the FCO.

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter tweeted on Sunday that everyone at the embassy was “deeply shocked, saddened by this news”.

“My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss,” he said.

“We’re providing consular support to her family & working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.”

Ms Dykes, a University of Manchester graduate, also had a Masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.

She was a former pupil of Malvern Girls’ College and Rugby School and had spent time at a Chinese International School.

A Department for International Development spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with Becky’s family and friends at this very upsetting time.

“There is now a police investigation and the FCO is providing consular support to Becky’s family and working with the local authorities.”– PA