British diplomat found murdered in the Lebanese capital Beirut

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A woman who worked at the British embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut has been found dead along a local highway, local and British officials say. Only few details were immediately available.

The woman, who has been identified as 30-year-old Rebecca Dykes, was found on Saturday on the side of the Metn Expressway in Sin el Fil. A preliminary examination showed she appeared to have been strangled, according to Lebanese TV channel LBC.

No arrests were immediately made and there was no immediate indication her death was linked to her work at the British embassy. A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign Office was not immediately able to provide information about her position.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca,” her family said in a statement. “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.”

LBC, citing an organization which works to promote gender equality, said Dykes appeared to have been raped. An investigation into her death is continuing.

“Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family,” a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said. “We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

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