Wikinews Shorts: April 24, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, April 24, 2007.

74 killed in raid on oil field in Ethiopia

Location of Ethiopia

65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese were killed in their sleep Tuesday in a predawn raid on an oil field in Abole, a small town in southeast Ethiopia's Somali state. Seven Chinese were kidnapped.

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack on the field which is run by a Chinese firm.

At a news conference, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said: "Such an outrage, the cold-blooded murder of people who were building roads and engaged in other development activities, is a measure of the level of barbarity involved."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Liu Jianchao, condemned the attack, which he said involved more than 200 gunmen.


Armed wing of Hamas declares end of truce

Location of Palestinian Territories

In response to weekend raids by Israel, the armed wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, declared and end to a 5-month old truce and fired rockets into Israel. The rockets caused some damage, but no injuries were reported.

The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) urged calm. "The government is interested to keep the ceasefire and the calm and we are trying, through consultation and discussion with the Palestinian factions, to take a position in order to protect our people," PA spokesperson Ghazi Hamad said.

PA President, Mahmoud Abbas who is a member of Fatah, said: "The violation of the truce is an exceptional event that will not last."

The Defense Minister of Israel, Amir Peretz warned against further attacks, but so far Israel has not made an armed response.


Mexico City legalizes abortion

Location of México

México City, the capital of the world's second-largest Catholic country, Mexico, voted today to legalize abortion.

City lawmakers passed legislation that legalizes abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. Hitherto, abortions were only legal in cases of rape, if the woman's life is in danger, or if there are signs of severe defects in the fetus.

The legislation passed in the face of pressure from Mexican bishops who spoke out against the law. Opinion polls indicated that Mexico City residents were fairly evenly split on the issue.

Sponsors of the bill argued that the deaths of some 1,500 women during illegal abortions over the last ten years showed the need to legalize it.