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Updated | Uber driver confesses to killing British diplomat in Beirut

Lebanese Uber driver, named as Tareq H, confessed to killing Rebeca Dykes in Beirut

18 December 2017, 3:27pm
Rebecca Dykes (Photo: the Independent)
Rebecca Dykes (Photo: the Independent)
A Lebanese Uber driver confessed to killing British diplomat Rebecca Dykes in Beirut, according to judicial sources.

The body of Rebecca Dykes was found on the side of a motorway on Saturday morning. The circumstances which surrounded her death were unclear, but local police officials suggested that she was strangled.

Dykes’ body was found without any identification on the Metn highway, which leads out of the Lebanese capital to the north-east suburbs. According to a forensic investigation, Dkyes died at around 4am on Saturday morning.

The body of Rebecca Dykes was found on a highway on the outskirts of Beirut (Photo: Reuters)
The body of Rebecca Dykes was found on a highway on the outskirts of Beirut (Photo: Reuters)
According to a Lebanese judicial source, Dykes, who was believed to be 30 years old, spent the evening with friends at a café in Gemmayze, a district of Beirut. She is believed to have left on her own at around midnight.

The suspect, who was named as Tareq H, a taxi driver for the company Uber, was arrested on Monday morning.

According to sources, preliminary investigations showed that the killing was not politically motivated and that the suspect confessed to the crime.

Dykes hired the driver using the ride-hailing app and Lebanon's state news agency, NNA, said that the vehucle which picked her up was identified using CCTV footage.

Two autopsy results showed that Dykes was not raped, contrary to media reports, but investigators believe that the suspect did attempt to sexually assault her, said the source.

A spokesman for Uber said: "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," in an email.

Hugo Shorter, British ambassador to Lebanon, tweeted about the death, saying:

A family spokesman said: “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 as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.”

Who is Rebecca Dykes?

Dykes worked as a programme and policy manager with the department for International Development, as well as a policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign office, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A Foreign office spokesman said: “Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family. We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

The investigation is being conducted by the intelligence branch of the police and the information branch of Lebanon’s internal security forces.