Iranian activists say he set fire to late leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s ancestral home

Iranian activists say protesters set fire to the ancestral home of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the latest in a series of taboo-breaking acts in a wave of protests rocking the country.

Activists posted videos on social media showing a flash of fire in an arched building that resembled archival images of Khomeini’s home. Reuters and AFP verified the location but not the timing of the images. NBC News has not verified the video.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, however, denied that Khomeini’s house, which has been turned into a museum, had been set on fire and said it remained open to the public.

“The doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public,” the agency said.

The opposition group 1500tasvir said the fire was set on Thursday night when demonstrations took place in Khomein, where the late leader’s home is located.

Khomeini led Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the country’s pro-Western monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, creating a theocratic state that gave absolute political power to the Shiite clergy. He served as the country’s first supreme leader and died in 1989.

Khomeini’s image and name still permeate public spaces in Iran. But in the protests now sweeping the country, Iranians have removed signs bearing his name, burned posters bearing his image and called for the end of the regime.

Protests erupted in September when a 22-year-old Iranian woman from the country’s Kurdish region, Mahsa Amini, died in police custody after she was arrested for allegedly not following a strict dress code that requires women to cover their hair and body shape their.

Targeting symbols of the regime, female protesters, who have been at the forefront of the protests, have marched without headscarves or burned them in front of cheering crowds, defying the regime’s strictly enforced dress code for women imposed after the 1979 revolution.

Protests continued across the country on Friday as funerals were held for young Iranians who activists say were killed by security forces, according to rights groups.

In the southwestern city of Izeh, crowds gathered for the funeral of a nine-year-old boy, Kian Pirfalak. His family says he was killed by police, but Iranian authorities have denied this and said the boy was shot by terrorists.

Human rights groups based abroad say more than 300 Iranians have been killed in the protests.

In a show of solidarity with the protests, many business owners this week closed their shops in bazaars and shopping areas in several cities, including Tehran, Mashad, Isfahan and Shiraz, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran. York.

Iranian leaders have blamed the protests, which they call “riots,” on foreign enemies, citing Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

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