A taxi driver has been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of a British diplomat in Lebanon, whose body was found strangled and dumped at the side of a highway in Beirut, according to the National News Agency. 

Rebecca Dykes, 30, who had been working for the Department of International Development, was discovered dead on Saturday. An initial postmortem suggested she 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. 

According to senior Lebanese security sources, the Uber driver was known for previous criminal violations.

Reuters reported that an Uber spokesman 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 they can".

Miss Dykes, originally from London, had been out at the 'Demo' bar on Friday night for the farewell party of an embassy colleague in the central Gemmayzeh neighborhood of the city.

Gemmayzeh is a lively and popular area of Beirut with many bars and restaurants and usually busy on weekends.

Just before midnight, she left with a friend and told her colleagues that she had to catch an early flight home for Christmas. 

The Lebanese driver picked her up from Gemmayzeh and then drove to the nearby Achrafieh neighborhood where she lived, but failed to drop her off there.

Police traced the suspect's car through surveillance cameras on the highway, where he dumped the body around 4 am, Lebanese news agency confirmed.

"The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss. We're providing consular support to her family & working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation," said Hugo Shorter, British Ambassador to Lebanon, in a tweet.

Source: Daily Star

Upon the discovery of her body, Miss Dykes was taken to Dahr al-Bashak Hospital where a post-mortem took place. 

"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," Ms. Dykes family said.

Miss Dykes had been working in Beirut as the Programme and Policy Manager for the Department for International Development since January this year and previously worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Libya and Iraq.

According to several local news sources, Miss Dykes' death has shocked the small expat community in Beirut.