By: Peter Daou on April 14, 2009 The brutality of this story is unsettling: Taliban gunmen executed a young couple in southern Afghanistan for trying to elope, shooting them with rifles in front of a crowd in a lawless, militant-controlled region, officials said Tuesday. The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of the southwestern province of Nimroz. Riflemen in the remote district of Khash Rod shot the man and woman with AK-47s Monday during a public execution, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of Nimroz’ provincial council. This line alone makes one’s blood boil: “a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed.” How hideously mundane that sentence sounds: just like that, ‘decide’ to snuff out two young lives – for the crime of being in love. Absolutely heinous.