Police studying the images of a girl resembling Madeleine McCann walking with a dark-haired woman wearing a hijab in Brussels have ruled that it is not the missing British girl.

Belgian authorities say they have ruled out the possible sighting because the father of the girl in the video identified her.

"He saw this picture and obviously for him it was very easy [to] recognize the girl accompanied by a woman in a veil," said Lieve Pellens, spokeswoman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office.

"It's her nanny — she is a young Moroccan woman who is qualified to look after children and works in a care center."

The images, revealed by The Sun newspaper, had been handed over to police and Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann.

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "I am very pleased that this little girl has been identified and that she can be ruled out, from her family's perspective. Clearly for Kate and Gerry it is a disappointment. But we have had many of these before and the search for Madeleine will continue."

Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3 last year, just before her fourth birthday.

There have been about 100 sightings of Madeleine reported in Belgium since she disappeared.

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