DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey’s Kurdish region,— A three-month baby and her grandfather were killed in crossfire in clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in Turkish Kurdistan, in the country’s southeast, medics said on Sunday.
The family’s house in the southeastern Kurdish town of Cizre came under shelling on Friday night as clashes intensified between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The baby, identified as Miray, was shot in the head, doctors said.
But the family called the ambulance when they saw Miray was breathing. Her 73-year-old grandfather Ramazan Ince was caught in the crossfire while he was carrying Miray to the ambulance, witnesses told AFP.
But it was already too late for her and her grandfather died in hospital, medics said.
The family claims that the fire came from the direction of the state hospital in Cizre, which is controlled by Turkish security forces.
Meanwhile seven months pregnant Zekiye Eren and eight months pregnant Asya Sezgin (37) gave premature birth under the strain of intensified Turkish bombardments late Saturday evening. Both mothers lost their lives due to belated access to hospital, ANF reported.
It is reported that bodies of two babies will be held at Cizre State Hospital’s morgue and laid to rest alongside other slain civilians once the curfew is ended.
Tensions are rising throughout Turkey’s restive southeast, where curfew has been in place in a number of towns due to clashes.
The operations mark a new escalation in the over three decade conflict with the PKK after a fragile truce collapsed in July after just one-and-a-half years.
The army said on Saturday nearly 200 PKK militants were killed in the operations since the offensive began in mid-December.
The PKK initially took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, with the aim of establishing an independent state for Turkey’s Kurdish minority, who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population, although lately the demands have focused on greater autonomy and rights. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead.
A large Turkey’s Kurdish community openly sympathise with PKK rebels.