The Tihotina Pit is a primary mass grave located above the village of Pritoka, eight kilometres from the city of Bihac in north-west Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the second mass grave to be found in the Bihac area containing the remains of Bosniak and Bosnian Croat civilians from the Ljutocka Valley.
The mass grave was discovered in 2002 by the local police and the Missing Persons Institute. The pit was a former coal mine and is over 100 metres deep. The remains of 53 people aged 17 to 55 were found there.
The victims were former prisoners from the Ripac and Racic wartime detention camps, as well as women and elderly people from the village of Ripac.
The location is now marked with a memorial plaque commemorating the 53 civilians who were killed.
According to court verdicts, around 5,000 residents of the villages of Kulen-Vakuf, Orasac, Cukovo, Klisa and Ripac were expelled from their homes. Around 100 men were taken to detention camps in Ripac and Racic and then killed.
Bosnian Serb ex-fighter Zoran Tadic reached a plea agreement with the cantonal prosecution in Bihac, admitting that he was involved in the killing of 18 civilians, mostly women, elderly people and one teenage girl, in the village of Orasac near Bihac in 1992. After the killings, members of Bosnian Serb forces piled up the bodies and set them on fire.
After pleading guilty in 2012 in return for a sentence of 12 years, Tadic helped the police and prosecutors to find the bodies of the murdered civilians at the Tihotina Pit, which is near Orasac.
Four other Bosnian Serb ex-fighters also admitted guilt. The Bihac Cantonal Court sentenced Jovica Tadic to 12 years’ imprisonment, Zoran Berga and Zeljko Babic to 11 years and Goran Mihajlovic to ten-and-a-half years.
In 2014, former Bosnian Serb serviceman Djuro Tadic was jailed for 10 years at Belgrade Special Court. Two men who were also charged in the case, Gojko Djuric and Slobodan Djuric, died before the verdict, while another man alleged to have taken part in the killings, Cvetko Tadic, went on the run.