A British diplomat, Rebecca Dykes, who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut has been found murdered, Lebanese police said on Sunday.

Her identity was reported by the BBC.

In a statement, her family said that: "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."

The British Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Lebanese authorities over the incident.

The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, said that the whole embassy is "deeply shocked." In a tweet, he added: "My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss."

Dykes was found dead on the side of the Metn Highway on Saturday evening, according to local media.

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

Her body was taken to Dahr al-Bashak hospital for forensic examination by the Lebanese Civil Defence, after she was discovered by police.

A security source told The Daily Star that a second autopsy was underway Sunday evening to confirm the cause of death. The source added that the first autopsy had found the cause of death as strangulation.

She had previously worked with the British government on Libya and Iraq, according to her LinkedIn profile, and had most recently been working for the Department for International Development's policy team in Lebanon, since January 2017.

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