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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Photo examined for Madeleine clue
The picture was taken in Morocco three weeks ago

A photograph of a blonde child in Morocco is being studied by experts examining the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann.

The photo, showing the child being carried on a woman's back, was taken three weeks ago by a Spanish tourist.

The McCann's spokesman said there was a likeness to Madeleine, who has been missing for more than four months.

But Spanish TV channel Telecinco says it has traced the girl in the picture, and it is not Madeleine.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the photograph had been passed to the McCann family via their legal team, and was also with Spanish police and British and Portuguese authorities.

On an initial glance, it appears to look like Madeleine - about the right age and of European appearance
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCanns

Spanish websites, including the Spanish radio station COPE's site www.cope.es, have published the picture.

The tourist, Clara Torres, said there was a striking similarity to Madeleine, who disappeared from a holiday apartment in southern Portugal on 3 May.

It is understood she had taken the photo in August but had only recently downloaded her photos.

She said she decided to hand the photo to police on Monday after reading of other recent possible sightings.

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine has not been seen since 3 May

Mr Mitchell told BBC1's Breakfast it was the first time a picture like this had come to light.

"On an initial glance, it appears to look like Madeleine - about the right age and of European appearance."

However, he said, Kate and Gerry McCann have a policy of not commenting on each sighting.

"Kate and Gerry know all too well through bitter experience that all of the sightings up until now have come to nothing unfortunately.

"So you can imagine the sort of emotional rollercoaster each time that sort of information comes in."

Marrakech sighting

News of the photo comes days after reports that a British man believed he had spotted Madeleine near a hotel in Marrakech in the same location and on the same day as Norwegian tourist Marie Pollard reported seeing her.

When Madeleine first disappeared, police asked holidaymakers on the Algarve to submit their photos for examination.

The McCanns are formal suspects in the inquiry into the little girl's disappearance.

They insist she was abducted while they ate at a nearby tapas bar with friends.

The tourist who took the photo speaks out

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