Nanny 'decapitates child and carries head through streets'

A Russian police officer stands at the site where a woman suspected of murdering a child was detained in Moscow, Russia Credit: Reuters

A woman has been charged with murder after being found with the severed head of a child on a busy street in Moscow, police have said.

The woman, who is believed to be in her 30s, and from Central Asia, was the babysitting the child, who is believed to be three or four years old.

She is undergoing psychiatric testing to see if she is mentally sound and understands the significance of the crime she is charged with., an online news portal with close contacts to the police, published video footage of a woman it identifies as the nanny.

Dressed in a black hijab, she is seen pacing outside Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in the northwest of the capital, holding up a child's severed head high in the air.

A policeman had approached the woman to check her documents and she responded by removing the child's head from a bag and shouted that she had killed the infant, the website reports.

One reporter, from the RBC daily, said she had heard the woman screaming "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great).

The woman was held near Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station in Moscow Credit: Google Maps

In other footage of the scene, the woman can be heard shouting about the end of the world while proclaiming herself a terrorist.

Investigators said the woman murdered the child in the family's Moscow flat before setting fire to the premises and fleeing.

The motive for the crime is unknown, they said.