Rebecca Dykes: British diplomat who worked at UK embassy in Beirut is found murdered at side of motorway

Francesca Gillett
Rebecca Dykes was murdered in Beirut, Lebanon: PA

A UK diplomat who worked at the British embassy in Lebanon has been found murdered at the side of a motorway.

The body of Rebecca Dykes was found at the side of a motorway east of the country's capital, Beirut, on Saturday, a British embassy spokesperson confirmed.

It is thought she may have been sexually assaulted before being strangled, authorities said.

She was planning to fly home to the UK for Christmas on Saturday.

A family spokesman said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca.

The family of British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes said they are 'devastated'. (PA)

"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 had reportedly been working for the Department of International Development in Beirut since January 2017 as a programme and policy manager.

A spokesman for the department 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 whole embassy is deeply shocked and saddened by this news," said British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter in a statement, "Our thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss."

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."