British diplomat found dead in Beirut ‘was strangled’

Lebanese police say Rebecca Dykes was strangled to death. Picture: PA
Lebanese police say Rebecca Dykes was strangled to death. Picture: PA

A British embassy worker whose body was found by the side of a motorway in Beirut was strangled, Lebanese police said.

Rebecca Dykes’s family said they have been left “devastated” following her death on Saturday.

British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes. Picture: PA

British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes. Picture: PA

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Police are investigating whether the victim, believed to be 30, had been sexually assaulted before she was found dead by the side of a road in the east of the capital.

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.”

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.

The University of Manchester graduate also had a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.

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 (Foreign Office) is providing consular support to Becky’s family and working with the local authorities.”

The Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Lebanese authorities.

“Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

“We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”