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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Expats in Qatar shocked by suspected murder

British expatriates living in Qatar have been left shocked by the suspected murder of a primary school teacher who was living and working in the Gulf state.

Lauren Patterson, originally from south-east London, disappeared after spending an evening out in Doha just over two weeks ago.

The remains of a badly burnt body have been found in the desert, but the results of DNA tests have not yet been released to the public, reports the BBC.

Katherine Dixon, headteacher at the school where Ms Patterson worked, told the news provider: "We're a small, close-knit community and we're all in deep shock. We are dealing with small children here."

On the night that she disappeared, the expat had been partying at Club 7 in the luxury La Cigale Hotel with a female friend.

The venue is popular with people of many different nationalities and all patrons have their IDs checked on entering the club.

It is thought that the two women left the establishment in the early hours of the morning with two local men that they knew.

While Ms Patterson's companion was dropped off safely at home, she went missing. It was this friend who raised the alarm the next day and called the police.

Mohammed Rashed al-Binali, public prosecutor, said: "Violent crime is very rare in Qatar. We are continuing to investigate the case. We cannot give more details at the moment but the Ministry of Interior did arrest the suspects within 24 hours."

Ms Patterson's family have travelled to Doha, where they are receiving consular assistance from the British Foreign Office, as they await information about the circumstances of her disappearance.

Some 17,500 Brits live in Qatar, which is widely considered to be among the safest places in the Middle East for Westerners.

They are attracted to the Gulf state by the high tax-free salaries and good standards of living.

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