Gardaí investigating the murder of a Malawian woman, whose body was found in a travel bag in Dublin yesterday, believe she was killed nearby.

A post mortem conducted last night showed she died from asphyxiation.

Detectives have visited her home on Leinster Road and interviewed the 26-year-old's flatmate, who last saw her on Saturday afternoon.

A flat on Aughrim Street, about 1km from Blackhorse Avenue, has been sealed off for a forensic examination.

Gardaí say a man, whom the victim knew and who is also from Africa, lived at the flat and they are trying to contact him.

Detectives believe the victim was in the flat a short time before she died.

Investigators have also been in contact with the Embassy of Malawi in London seeking to contact her family and have her formally identified.

Gardaí said the name of the victim, who is understood to have been a student living in Rathmines for the past two years, will not be released until the family has been informed.

Officers believe the woman was attacked and killed on the north side of the city between 3pm and 7pm on Saturday, before her body was left in a travel bag at St David's Terrace.

She may have been in a relationship with an African man, but gardaí are anxious to speak to everyone who knew her.

The head of the African Centre has called on members of the African community in Ireland to contact gardaí if they have any information about the murder.