- Department for International Development
- Rebecca Dykes was found dead in the capital of Lebanon.
- Her body was found by a roadside over the weekend.
- Lebanese state media say a taxi driver has been arrested.
- He reportedly confessed to abducting at trying to rape her.
- She had reportedly been at a party that night.
A taxi driver has been arrested after a British diplomat in Lebanon was found dead by a motorway over the weekend.
Rebecca Dykes, who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, had reportedly been at a work gathering on Friday night hours before she was killed.
According to Lebanese state media, a taxi driver named as “Tareq H” was caught by police conducting a murder investigation.
According to the state-run National News Agency, the driver “attempted to rape her, before dumping strangling her [sic] and dumping her body on the road.”
The agency claimed that the taxi driver has confessed to killing Dykes.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Dykes’ body was found on Saturday after she spent the previous evening at a farewell party for a colleague in the busy Gemmayzeh district of Beirut.
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The newspaper said she left the bar around midnight with a friend before they parted ways five minutes away from Dykes’ home. She didn’t drink that night, the Telegraph said, as she had been due to fly home for Christmas the next morning.
Dykes’ body was found near the Metn motorway, located around 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) outside from the city centre. A forensic examination cited by The Guardian said she died around 4 a.m. on Saturday.
Dykes was working as a Programme and Policy Manager with Britain’s Department for International Development.
Her family said in a statement, as cited by the BBC: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened.”
Britain’s ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, tweeted: “The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news” and is “working very closely” with police.
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 & working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.
— Hugo Shorter (@HugoShorter) December 17, 2017
The Telegraph’s correspondent in Beirut, Josie Ensor, wrote on Monday: “Miss Dykes’ death has shocked the small expat community in Beirut. 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.”