A policeman sits in his patrol car as part of a road block on the street
A policeman sits in his patrol car as part of a road block on the street where a house was involved in pre-dawn raids in the western Sydney suburb of Guilford September 18, 2014. More than 800 police were involved in the pre-dawn raids, described as the largest in Australian history, with at least 15 people detained. Australian police will allege that members of a group targeted in the sweeping counter-terrorism operation on Thursday planned to behead a random member of the public after draping the victim in the flag of Islamic State militants, Australia media reported. Without referring to specifics, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australia was at "serious risk from a terrorist attack". REUTERS/David Gray

A baby girl was killed while she was playing in the backyard. The 17-month-old baby was mown down in Constitution Hill during a police pursuit involving a stolen car.

Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli called it as an "absolute tragedy" that had shattered the police officers who were involved in the incident. A critical investigation has been launched into the pursuit. Mennilli said that he was "overwhelmed for the poor family" and what they had been going through." Police from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime and Tactical Operations and the Metropolitan Robbery units were chasing offenders who stole a car. The sting took place at Constitution Hill in Western Sydney at around 7 p.m. on Thursday. According to Mennilli, it was a "highly volatile situation." The offenders involved were described to be "violent and a risk to the community."

Daily Telegraph reports that the toddler was playing with her older siblings in the backyard when the driver of the stolen car smashed through a fence into a backyard as he was being chased by officers. The driver crashed through another fence into Richell Park where 15 children playing cricket dropped their bats and ran for their lives. According to one of the witnesses, the car flew out of the yards while a four-wheel-drive chased it down the hill. However, there were no police sirens used during the chase. She said that she screamed at the children and asked them to move. The children got "petrified" and they went "ballistic," she said. She saw a mother holding her new born baby and screaming.

In addition to the baby, her two older siblings were also injured, although their injuries were minor. Some of the officers tried saving the dying girl, while some others continued chasing the stolen car. Mennilli has, meanwhile, asked his officers to give up the chase. He said that the offender was well known to the community. "I must stress we had specialist resources on the ground for this particular job because of the risk to the community," Mennilli said, "We were dealing with violent offenders so we had to try to prevent these people from committing offences unfortunately it is a tragedy that has occurred."

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au