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Madrid: Spanish police on Thursday found a newborn baby who was snatched from a Bilbao hospital hours earlier and arrested the woman who took the infant while disguised as a nurse.

The baby, who was taken from Basurto hospital in the northern port city of Bilbao on Wednesday evening, was found early on Thursday "in good health", police said.

The infant - whose gender and exact age was not revealed - was discovered on the doorstep of an apartment inside a block of flats in Bilbao.

"She left the baby there," a police spokesman said of the presumed kidnapper, saying the 24-year-old woman had rung the bell of the apartment before fleeing the scene.

The woman was detained several hours later in another area of the city.

Dressed in "a white doctor's coat", the woman entered the maternity wing of Basurto hospital at around 9:00 pm (1900 GMT), Basque regional security minister Josu Erkoreka told reporters.

"Everything seems to indicate this woman tried to kidnap several babies that night. She went into several rooms and tried the same thing with other mothers but the first few attempts didn't work," he said.

Residents of the Santutxu neighbourhood where the baby was found told Spanish media the woman, who was thought to live locally, had told them she was pregnant and had even bought baby clothes and a highchair.