UK & World News
Mikaeel Kular 'May Be Victim Of Criminal Act'
Police investigating the disappearance of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular say he may have gone missing after a "criminal act".
The youngster has not been seen since his mother put him to bed on Wednesday night, prompting a major search in communities around his Edinburgh home.
Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham, of Police Scotland, said there was now "grave concern" for the youngster, who he revealed has not attended nursery school since before Christmas.
:: Live Updates: Search For Missing Mikaeel Kular
"Our (search) operations and investigations are continuing in tandem but we must make sure we examine fully every possibility about what might have happened," he said.
ACC Graham said it was "entirely possible" Mikaeel had left the house by himself but warned the youngster may have "become the subject of a criminal act".
Hundreds of police officers from across the UK have joined the search for Mikaeel and lines of volunteers have swept the local area, searching for clues about his disappearance.
Police have been investigating a possible sighting of the youngster close to his home in Ferry Gait Crescent.
Members of the public reported seeing a boy matching his description in West Pilton Gardens at around 8.30am on Thursday.
However, the youngster was wearing a hat or cap - items of clothing Mikaeel does not like wearing - and ACC Graham said detectives have been "unable to confirm any sightings".
Sky News correspondent Gerard Tubb said a friend of Mikaeel's mother had described her as a "fantastic mum" who would do anything for her children.
Superintendent Liz McAnish, of Police Scotland, said all of the boy's family, including his father, have been helpful to the police.
"No one is detained, no one is a suspect and we have no evidence of any criminality," she added.
Some investigators said it would have been "practically impossible" for Mikaeel to have left the house alone and suspect a professional abduction.
At a news conference, police refused to discuss whether he may already be out of the country.
They said ports and airports - including Edinburgh, where flights begin taking off at 5.30am, nearly two hours before the youngster was reported missing - had been contacted.
Mikaeel, who has two sisters and two brothers, was not in his room when his mother went to wake him at around 7.15am on Thursday.
His jacket and shoes had also disappeared.
The toddler is slim, 2ft tall and of Asian appearance, and was possibly wearing a thigh-length beige hooded coat.
He may also be wearing black gloves with multi-coloured fingers, dark navy blue jogging bottoms, a grey pyjama top with an embroidered turquoise dinosaur on the chest and brown Clarks shoes.
He has a faded scar on the bridge of his nose and a sore on the left hand side of his mouth.
Anyone with information can call the missing person hotline on 0300 200 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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