- Department for International Development
- Rebecca Dykes was killed and dumped on a roadside in Beirut on Saturday.
- The man suspected of killing her is an Uber driver.
- State media in Lebanon says the driver also tried to rape Dykes.
- Lebanon’s National News Agency said the suspect has confessed.
The man suspected of murdering a British diplomat in Lebanon is an Uber driver.
The ride-sharing company told Business Insider that it is assisting authorities after the man was arrested in Beirut over the death of Rebecca Dykes.
Dykes’ body was found near a motorway outside Beirut on Saturday morning, the night after a work party in the city centre.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that the suspect – identified only as “Tareq H” attempted to rape her, strangled her, and dumped her body on the road.
A security source told the Reuters news agency that he “immediately confessed” to the crime.
Dykes was working as a Programme and Policy Manager with Britain’s Department for International Development.
According to Reuters, police believe the killer’s motive was criminal rather than political.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Handout via Reuters
A spokesman for Uber told Business Insider: “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family.
“We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”
According to sources who spoke to Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper, the driver had “an existing criminal record.”
Uber drivers in Lebanon need to be licensed and would normally have criminal record checks carried out by the government before being allowed on the streets.
The ride-sharing company reviewed the driver’s history immediately after the incident and did not find any concerning safety reports, an Uber source told BI.
The Telegraph’s correspondent in Beirut, Josie Ensor, wrote on Monday: “Miss Dykes’ death has shocked the small expat community in Beirut. Lebanon is a relatively safe place for foreigners, and has been mostly calm since the end of the bloody 15-year civil war in 1990.”
Louisa Loveluck, the Washington Post’s Beirut-based reporter, added: “There are so many young women in Beirut who rely on Uber at nighttime to keep safe.”