Baby killed in clashes between Turkish forces, Kurdish rebels: medics

Residents walk past an armoured special forces vehicle in Sirnak, southeast Turkey, during security operations against Kurdish rebels in the nearby cities of Cizre and Silopi on December 22, 2015 (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic) (AFP/File)

Diyarbakir (Turkey) (AFP) - A three-month-old baby and her grandfather were killed when they became caught in the crossfire between Turkish security forces and Kurdish rebels in a flashpoint town, medics said on Sunday.

Three soldiers were also killed on Sunday in a roadside bombing by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the town of Cizre in the Kurdish majority southeast, the army said.

The baby, named Miray, was hit in the head when the family's house in Cizre was shelled on Friday night during street battles between Turkish forces and PKK rebels.

Her 73-year-old grandfather Ramazan Ince was then shot while he was carrying Miray to the ambulance, witnesses told AFP.

The baby died at the scene and her grandfather died later 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.

Tensions are running high throughout Turkey's restive southeast as security forces impose curfews in several towns including Cizre in a bid to root out PKK rebels from urban centres.

A bomb planted by "members of the separatist terrorist organisation" went off on Sunday as an armoured vehicle passed by in Cizre, killing three soldiers, the army said in a statement, referring to the PKK.

Another soldier and a police officer were injured but their lives were not in danger, it added.

The military offensive marks a new escalation in five months of fighting since the collapse of a ceasefire between the government and the rebels in July.

Residents of the towns under curfew are facing food shortages and problems with water and electricity supplies. Many homes have been damaged by shelling.

The army said on Saturday that almost 200 militants have been killed in the latest military operation against the PKK since mid-December.

A cultural centre in the city of Sirnak was attacked Friday by PKK rebels with Molotov cocktails, and four students were injured, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported.