Police have released new information about the last-known movements of a five-year-old girl who was abducted on Monday night in mid Wales.

April Jones was last seen by another child, getting into a grey or light-coloured van which drove off in Machynlleth at about 7pm. Police and hundreds of local residents spent the night searching for the youngster, who was out playing near her home when she disappeared.

Dyfed Powys Police said that April was wearing a purple knee-length coat with grey fur around the hood, a white polo shirt and black trousers.

A spokeswoman said: "Her abduction took place around 7pm in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth. It was witnessed by another young child when April was seen getting into a grey or light-coloured van, or van-sized vehicle. While the details of what happened are vague at the current time, it appears the suspect left the scene and drove off with April.

Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan of Dyfed-Powys Police told Sky News that because the initial account of April's abduction came from children, police were involved in a "delicate and lengthy process" to get the best information. He said: "Hopefully, later this morning I'll have some more details around the vehicle, specific details, and we are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry around that vehicle, where it may or may not be at this moment in time."

Police previously said April was last seen playing on a bike near her home, before being seen getting into the van. Dog teams have been involved in the operation to find the five-year-old, and cars in and out of the small market town, which has a population of 2,000, were being stopped and searched, police said.

The force has also released three pictures of brown-haired April and urged anyone with information about her disappearance to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.

April's disappearance has sparked concern in the local area, as well as further afield. Hundreds of people from across the UK have already signed up to a dedicated Facebook page in a bid to raise awareness. Those joining the group are able to download a missing poster, featuring three photographs of the youngster, before sharing it on their profile. On Monday night, up to 200 people gathered at Machynlleth Leisure Centre to help search for April, according to reports. Locals also put up posters of the youngster around the town as part of their efforts.

A number of people in the town said they were shocked at hearing that April had been snatched, describing the street she lived on as a close-knit community. Local petrol station worker Nerys Zjalic, who reopened her garage at 11.30pm on Tuesday so locals had enough fuel as they continued their search into the early hours, added: "It's quite a nice place - lots of families live on the estate and there's plenty of places for children to play.

"There would always be someone casting an eye over the children to make sure they were OK. So what has happened has really shaken everyone. It's every parent's worst nightmare. You would never ever think that something like this would happen here."