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Russian rights campaigner found dead
Ms Estemirova's body was found in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia near the city of Nazran, the spokeswoman added.
The activist was abducted today as she left her home, her colleagues at the Russian organisation Memorial said. She was pushed into a white car by several assailants as she left for work at 8.30am local time (0430 GMT), her colleague Yekaterina Sokiryanskaya said.
A spokesman for Chechnya's leader, ex-rebel turned Kremlin loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov, said they were unaware of any disappearance.
Russia's interior ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
New-York based human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Estemirova was abducted as she was working on "extremely sensitive" cases of human rights abuses in Chechnya.
"There is no shred of doubt that she was targeted due to her professional activity," said Tanya Lokshina, HRW's Russian researcher in Moscow.