Source: kataeb

Just days after British diplomat Rebecca Dykes was murdered by an Uber driver, Lebanon's Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said the ride-hailing app was "unsafe". 

Machnouk advised those in the country to refrain from using the app, calling on them to use private taxi companies instead. 

"You all know about the incident that happened through Uber regarding the British diplomat. I call on all Lebanese not to use this application as a means of transportation," said Machnouk, according to the Daily Star.

"We don’t consider it safe and there are [private] taxi [companies] people can use." 

The Interior Minister then advised people in the country to "resort to traditional means".

The Daily Star reached out to a spokesperson at Uber Lebanon who dismissed Machnouk's comments, reassuring the public that the driver had "presented a clean criminal record, as stipulated by the company's policy".

"All drivers who use the Uber app in Lebanon are fully licensed by the government and must have a clear judicial record," the spokesperson said.

Dykes' body was found Saturday, strangled and dumped at the side of a highway in Beirut. 

An initial postmortem suggested the 30-year-old woman had been strangled and sexually assaulted.

The man, a taxi driver employed by Uber, officially identified only as Tarek H., was arrested at 3 am on Monday morning and has since confessed to the crime, according to local news reports.

Prior to Machnouk's comments, the hashtag #UberIsNotSafe began making the rounds online

"With a simple click, you're hiring a criminal"

"Did Uber ignore the background checks?"

Others criticized Machnouk for his comments ... calling him "unsafe"

"I for one am NOT reassured until cases of 'violence against women' in Lebanon are taken seriously"

Others believe Machnouk should be addressing "the threat posed by the reckless driving of traditional taxi vans"