Nigerian officials and troops are searching for persons responsible for the killings of 30 Nigerians. The Islamic group called Boko Haram went on a full fledged killing spree in the northern state of Yobe on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s violence came after the army shelled a mosque and the home of Mohammed Yusuf, the group’s alleged leader, in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“We are not sure whether he has been killed in the shelling or has managed to escape,” a police officer said of Yusuf.

The Boko Haram group does not approve of western-style education and leaders have made promises of brute force to rid the society of “immorality” and “infidelity.”

Nigeria’s president Umaru Yar’Adua has pledged to hunt down and punish the group. He added that he will call on his military aid to “contain them once and for all.” He said “they will be dealt with squarely and forthwith.”

Masses of people ran from the massacre and tried to take shelter at the local police station.

“It is the first time in my life that I hear this kind of mortar shelling,” said one man, who had taken cover there, along with his wife and three daughters.

“I thought they targeted my house.”

An AFP correspondent said that he had witnessed the murders of three young men. The report stated the victims were all shot at point blank range shortly after being arrested, the men kneeling and begging for their lives to be spared.

“There has been a serious intensification of the assault on members of this group, Boko Haram, which is behind this wave of killings,” reports the middle-eastern newspaper Al Jezera.

“The president of Nigeria has said that anybody perpetrating violence will be dealt with very, very severely – in fact, that means imminent death,” she said.

“If you’re caught working among Boko Haram fighters, there is absolutely no question, your life will not be spared.”

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