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Taxi Driver Arrested in Diplomat's Death in Beirut

Rebecca Dykes' body was found alongside a highway Saturday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2017 7:11 AM CST

(Newser) – The death of a British diplomat in Beirut was not politically motivated but a criminal act, a police official tells the AP. The BBC reports a taxi driver has been arrested in the death of 30-year-old Rebecca Dykes, whose body was found Saturday alongside a highway in the Lebanese city. The official says the suspect, identified as "Tariq H," per the Guardian, has confessed to the crime; it's believed Dykes was sexually assaulted and strangled. The suspect was apprehended Monday using CCTV footage, which captured his license plate number. He reportedly picked Dykes up as she left a farewell party for a colleague in Beirut's Gemayze neighborhood Friday night.

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The AP notes the murder has rattled Lebanon, which rarely sees crimes of this nature, particularly ones involving foreigners. Indeed, the Telegraph's Beirut correspondent describes Beirut as a "very safe city" and says "everyone is incredibly shocked. ... It's a village city, a very tight-knit community, so when something happens to one person, it feels quite close." Dykes had been at the UK embassy in Beirut as a program and policy manager with the Department for International Development since January, and had been due to head home for Christmas. (Canada has been shaken by the deaths of a billionaire and his wife.)


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