A baby has been born through cloning, French scientist and member of the Raelian sect Brigitte Boisselier told AFP late Thursday.
The baby, a girl, was born Thursday by caesarean section. The birth "went very well," said Boisselier, president of the human cloning society Clonaid, on the telephone.
As the effort by the Raelians to achieve the first human birth by cloning was carried out in the secrecy, it was not immediately possible to obtain any independent scientific confirmation that the baby was in fact a clone.
The baby born on Thursday was the first of five the Raelians have said were due.
The Raelians, who claim 55,000 followers worldwide, believe that life on Earth was established by extra-terrestrials who arrived in flying saucers 25,000 years ago, and that humans themselves were created by cloning.
The movement's founder, Rael -- the former French journalist Claude Vorilhon -- lives in Quebec. He describes himself as a prophet and claims that cloning will enable humanity to attain eternal life.