Incident Summary:

05/12/1998: The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) slit the throats of 22 people, including women and children, in Ras el Ain, Algeria. While details of the attack were sparse and conflicting, one account stated that the victims were murdered in their sleep, while another cited a fake roadblock and subsequent extraction from vehicles as the means of contact.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:


Ras el Ain

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Resident of Ras el Ain, Algeria
Nationality of Target Algeria
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The massacre coincided with Algerian President Liamine Zeroual's visit to Cairo, where he took part in a three-day meeting of 15 leaders from Africa, Latin America and Asia. The Ras el Ain attack followed a spate of similar killings, which had increased since late December 1997. More than 1,400 people were killed in massacres in Algeria in five months.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Armed Islamic Group (GIA) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 22 Fatalities / 1 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 22
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 1
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
“New massacre kills 22, security forces say,” Associated Press Worldstream, May 12, 1998.
“22 Algerians have throats cut; rebels blamed,” The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario), May 12, 1998.
“AFR: Baby Sole Survivor in Latest Algerian Massacre,” AAP Newsfeed, May 13, 1998.