Lebanon Arrests Uber Driver Suspected in British Diplomat Murder

AP, December 18, 2017

Lebanese authorities have arrested an Uber driver suspected of killing a British woman who worked for the U.K. Embassy in Beirut and whose body was found beside a motorway north of the city with a rope around her neck, officials said Monday.

In an emailed statement, Uber said it was working with authorities “to assist their investigation in any way we can.” Lebanese media reported that the suspect, a Lebanese citizen, was an Uber driver. Police have refused to confirm or deny those reports, or say whether the man had a criminal record.

The woman, identified by British media and friends as Rebecca Dykes, was found on Saturday. She was last seen at a bar in Beirut’s Gemayze district Friday night. Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said the driver picked her up and drove to a nearby neighborhood where she lived, but did not drop her off there.

Rebecca Dykes

Instead, the suspect drove the car to the site where Dykes’ body was later found. NNA said the man tried to sexually assault her, then strangled her with a rope. The police have not confirmed those details.

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A police official said the woman’s murder was a “criminal act” and was not politically motivated, adding that the suspect had confessed to the killing.

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Earlier, a forensics official told The Associated Press that the woman was strangled with a rope and that authorities were investigating whether she was also sexually assaulted. {snip}

Dykes’ friends said she was planning to fly home for Christmas on Saturday.

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