1993 Hidroelektra Workers Massacre

1993 Hidroelektra Workers Massacre was an islamist mass killing of 12 Croatian workers of Croatian construction company Hidroelektra, which at a time had a contract on a dam and a pipeline construction in Algeria.[1]

1993 Hidroelektra Workers Massacre
Part of Algerian Civil War
Locationnear Bilda, Algeria
Date14 December 1993
TargetHidroelektra workers
Attack type
Mass murder, terrorism
PerpetratorsArmed Islamic Group of Algeria
Defender Algeria


The attack occurred as part of Algerian Civil War but was also connected[2] with a Croat-Bosniak War which started earlier that year. The workers were near the end of a four-year contract and were due to leave Algeria in a few days.[1]

Following Algerian legislative election 1991 in which Islamic Salvation Front won, the country descended into a turmoil. Several foreign nationals were killed and one Hidroelektra's warehouse in Algeria was burnt down. Armed Islamic Group of Algeria demanded for all non-Muslim foreigners to leave the country before December 15, 1993. One day before this deadline, the group stormed Hidroelektra's camp in Algeria. At that time, most of the workers had already left the camp, except for group of 22 men who were still there.[3]


According to a testimony of one of the survivors, the group of 50 assailants entered the camp through holes in the fence, somewhere in the evening.[4] The terrorists searched the barracks looking for workers and soon rounded up most of them. One worker remained hidden, while two workers were on a different location thus avoiding the incident. Terrorists then tied the workers and looted them.[4] Some of Hidroelektra's workers were Bosnian Muslims, so the terrorists separated them from rest of the group. They then tested the workers by asking them to pray in Arabic. Two of the Bosnian Croat workers successfully pretended that they were Muslims since they knew the prayers due to growing up alongside Bosnian Muslims.[4]

One of the surviving workers recalled that after not knowing how to pray, he was taken to a different site where attackers threw him to the ground and slashed his throat. He lost conscience but remained alive as the executioner failed to cut his vital neck arteries. He claims that he pretended being dead, but subsequently started to shiver due to shock. This resulted in unknown person approaching him again and inflicting another deep cut, this time on a back side of his neck.[4] Another worker had his face half-slashed, causing him to faint and making terrorists think that he was dead.[3] Except for them, 12 other workers were put to death.[1][3][4]

The surviving men were soon saved by the Algerian Army whose arrival routed the attackers. The injured men were then taken to a hospital where they received the necessary medical assistance.[5]


Following the massacre, Croatian Government dispatched a delegation led by a future prime minister Ivo Sanader, who was then a Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister. This delegation brought the surviving workers back to Croatia, as well as human remains of those who were killed.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "12 Foreign Workers Slain at Algerian Building Site". Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Algerian extremists murder 12 foreigners: Massacre by suspected Islamists brings country a step nearer anarchy". The 12, working on a water pipeline for the Croatian company Hidroelektra, were all Christians, and believed killed by one of the armed groups seeking to establish an Islamic republic in Algeria. The motive may have been to seek revenge for the plight of Muslims in Bosnia.
  3. ^ a b c "ZABORAVLJENI MASAKR DVANAESTORICE HRVATA U ALŽIRU: 'Osjetio sam kako me režu, ali i dalje sam bio živ. Pravio sam se mrtav…'". Net.hr (in Croatian). 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Preživjeli Marko: Prerezali su mi vrat jer nisam znao molitvu iz Kur'ana - Jutarnji List". www.jutarnji.hr. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  5. ^ "'Vrat su mi u Alžiru 1993. dvaput prerezali, krv je liptala'". www.vecernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2018-12-14.