Deadly Algiers bus bomb explodes as EU delegation visits

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — In the latest attacks to beset the country, hospital sources said Tuesday that four people were killed and 24 injured — two critically — in a bus explosion in Ben Aknoun, in the hills above this Mediterranean port city.
It was the first such bombing inside the capital since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Dec. 30, which has seen a new wave of violence.
In Zeralda, 60 miles west of the capital, another bomb hidden in a fruit and vegetable stand exploded at a market. Hospital sources said seven people were killed and up to 70 injured. Residents put the number at 3 dead and 30 injured. Officials did not comment on the bombing.
The head of a European delegation called on Algerian authorities Tuesday to be more open about the violence gnawing at their nation, but failed to persuade them to accept humanitarian aid or grant access to journalists.
The visit by envoys from Britain, Austria and Luxembourg was the first joint Western effort to help end violence that has killed an estimated 75,000 people since 1992. The delegation announced they will reopen the European Union office here, but at the same time urged the military-backed government to be less distrustful.
The government has consistently refused to allow independent groups to undertake an investigation into the chronic violence. They have blocked human rights inquiries and have severely restricted journalists’ access to the country. At the same time, Algerian authorities are notorious for underreporting the casualty counts from insurgent-led massacres that have been more commonplace in recent months.