The Jerusalem Post
Detained Beirut Uber driver suspected of murdering British embassy worker
BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Lebanese Uber driver with a criminal record has confessed to the killing of a British woman who worked at the British Embassy in Beirut, a Lebanese security source said on Monday.
The source said preliminary investigations into the murder of Rebecca Dykes showed the motive was purely criminal, not political, and that the suspect had immediately confessed to the crime, which took place early on Saturday.
A spokesman for Uber said in an email: “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.”
Lebanon’s state news agency NNA said the suspect had picked Dykes up in his taxi in Beirut’s Gemmayzeh district on Friday evening before assaulting and killing her. Police traced his car through surveillance cameras on the highway, the agency said.
Dykes’ body was found strangled by a main highway outside Beirut, a security source said on Sunday. She worked at the British embassy for the Department for International Development, according to her LinkedIn page.
“The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news,” British ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said on Sunday.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca,” Dykes’ family said in a statement issued by Britain’s Foreign Office. “We are doing all we can to understand what happened.”
Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said security forces had arrested the suspect “in record time.”
“These exceptional efforts reassure the Lebanese and foreigners that security is under control in Lebanon,” he tweeted.