5 killed, including baby, in Kurdish shelling on Turkey: officials

Akçakale (Turkey) (AFP) –


Five people, including a nine-month-old baby, were killed and dozens injured in shelling on Turkish border towns on Thursday, local authorities said, following Turkey's offensive on Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

"The first martyrs of Operation Peace Spring were a nine-month-old Syrian baby, Mohammad Omar, and Cihan Gunes, a civil servant working for the tax office in Akcakale," the Sanliurfa governor's office said in a statement.

Three more deaths were later reported in Mardin province, according to a local official.

AFP journalists witnessed consistent explosions in Akcakale and saw three people injured, one seriously, when shells hit a government building.

Attacks were also reported in Ceylanpinar.

The two areas lie just across the border from the Syrian towns of Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain, which have been the focus of Turkey's operation against Syrian Kurdish forces since it was launched on Wednesday.

A total of 70 people were so far reported injured across Turkish areas.

Families were evacuating and streets emptying in Akcakale, as local authorities called on people to take shelter.

Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers "terrorists", and establishing a "safe zone" to repatriate Syrian refugees.