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Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British diplomat Rebecca Dykes Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British diplomat Rebecca Dykes

Rebecca 'Becky' Dykes worked at the UK embassy in Lebanon [UK FCO handout]

Date of publication: 18 December, 2017

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A murder that has shocked Lebanon's expat community may have been solved as police say they have a suspect in custody who has confessed to killing British diplomat Rebecca Dykes.
A murder that has shocked Lebanon's expat community may have been solved as police say they have in custody a suspect who has 'confessed' to killing British diplomat Rebecca Dykes.

A Lebanese police official told reporters a Lebanese man, identified by his initials T.H., was apprehended on Monday morning in connection to Dykes' killing. Police sources said T.H. has "confessed" to the murder.

Sources quoted by The Telegraph on Monday said the suspect worked as a taxi driver.

The official said the murder was a "criminal act" and not politically motivated, but provided no further details. 


The body of Rebecca Dykes - known to friends as Becky - was found Saturday on the side of a busy highway north of Beirut. Police initially struggled to identify the body, circulating her description in the hope someone would recognise her. 

UK's foreign office later confirmed the death of the Beirut embassy staffer, who worked for the department for international development.

Earlier, a forensics official said she was strangled with a rope and that authorities were investigating whether she was also sexually assaulted.

She had last been seen alive in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut, a popular street full of bars and cafes where Dykes had been at a party.

The Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) - the national police force - has yet to release an official statement but ISF sources told The Daily Star traffic cameras had captured the license plate of the suspect's car as it travelled away from the area.

The source said Dykes was "forcibly taken" from the street while she was making her way home Friday night.

Dykes worked for the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development in London on projects from Iraq to Libya, before moving to Beirut in January 2017.

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."

Her murder has shocked the expat community in Lebanon, which has a low crime rate despite sporadic political violence. Apalled Lebanese and expats in Lebanon expressed a shattered sense of security on social media, calling for more vigilence and precautions among women.

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