A photo believed to show missing Madeleine McCann alive in Morocco is NOT her, it was claimed this afternoon.
The picture, taken by a Spanish tourist is thought to show Bushra Binhisa, the five-year-old daughter of a farmer who lives in the region.
The revelation will be yet another devastating blow to the missing girl's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann who admitted today that they had been on an "emotional rollercoaster" following several alleged sightings. Scroll down for more...
Five-year-old Bushra Binhisa pictured this afternoon being carried by her mother Hafida
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Bushra comes from a village in the Rif mountains in northern Morocco where her family have lived and farmed several generations.
She was captured on film by a tourist on 31 August - and the image of her bore a striking resemblance to Madeleine. "It sent shivers down my spine. Either it's Madeleine or she's got a twin," said Spanish tourist Clara Torres.
British experts who identify victims of sex abuse by face-mapping techniques had been called in to study the image.
But today Bushra was revealed as the girl in the photo.
Speaking through an interpreter, her father Hamid, an olive farmer with a smallholding, said: "Bushra is my little girl.
"She is not Madeleine. I do feel sorry for her parents, I hope they find Madeleine. But Bushra is definitely my daughter."
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, phoned Madeleine's parents at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to tell them. "It is obviously a terrible blow." Scroll down for more...
The quality of the original photo (left) made it difficult to tell whether it really was Madeleine
Bushra's mother Hafida said she was surprised the photograph - which showed her carrying Bushra on her back - had sparked a major search.
"Even in this remote backwater people have heard of Madeleine McCann," she said.
Family friend Mustafa Hadid said "We are all shocked that people could think that Bushra was Madeleine. She does have a resemblance but blonde and red-haired children are not that rare in this part of Morocco. Scroll down for more...
Wrong girl: Bushra Binhasa bears a striking resemblance to Madeleine, right, who is reported to have been seen four times in Morocco
Clara Torres: She thought the girl in her holiday snap taken four weeks ago looked like Madeleine
"The people are Berbers and they come from a different stock than people in the south of the country.
"Bushra's father is just a farmer so he would not have read the newspapers."
Mr Hadid said the local Darijb Tamazigh tribe travel to work through northern Africa and southern Spain.
The other figures in the photo are Bushra's older sister Mariam, her father and aunts. They are pictured in traditional Berber dress and distinctive wide-brimmed hat.
The town of Zinat has only around 2,000 inhabitants who speak a dialect distinct from the Arabic and French spoken in the majority of Morocco.
It is a rest stop for trucks and tourists although there are few amenities.
Ms Torres and her boyfriend were passing through: "I didn't think too much of it at the time because although it is uncommon it is not unusual to get blonde people in that part of the world. Also, I didn't think Madeleine could be in Morocco.
"It was only when I got home and saw the news on Monday about two possible sightings of Madeleine in Morocco that I remembered the picture and went through my photos.
"When I saw it for the second time and focused in on the child's face, I realised it could be her."
Although the locals in Zinat keep in touch with the outside world through mobile phones, the isolated coastal region is a far cry from the bustling metropolis of Tangier about 40 miles to the north.
But despite the isolation, they knew all about the search for Madeleine and how it has gripped the world.
Girl in 'Madeleine in Morocco' photo is peasant farmer's daughter Bushra | the Daily Mail