MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - The body of leading human rights activist Natalya Estemirova has been discovered in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, Russian investigators said on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Ingushetia's Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that the body of Estemirova was discovered close to the Kavkaz Federal Highway near the village of Gazi-Yurt.
Preliminary investigative reports state that Estemirova died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest area.
Estemirova was kidnapped on Wednesday morning in neighboring Chechnya.
Estemirova had been investigating kidnappings and disappearances in Chechnya for the Memorial group. She had earlier worked with journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in Moscow in October 2006, and human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who was killed in the Russian capital in January of this year.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said on Wednesday that the president was "outraged" at the killing and had instructed investigators to "take all the necessary measures" to bring the killers to justice.
Human Rights Watch's Tatyana Lokshina said that two people had witnessed Estemirova being shoved into a white car.
"She was able to yell out that she was being kidnapped," Lokshina told RIA Novosti.
"This morning at approximately 8:30 am [5:30 GMT], she left for work but some unidentified people shoved [Natalya] into a car and sped off," Grozny Memorial Center director, Shaaman Akbulatov, said.
Ingush opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev was killed in police custody last August. Police in Ingushetia said a gun had "accidentally gone off." His death led to large scale protests.
Russia's Ingushetia has seen a rise in violence in recent months, with the republic's president, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, badly injured in an assassination attempt on June 22. He is currently said to be recovering in a top Moscow clinic.