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Iran: Demonstrators set fire to Khomeini home

Iran: Fire in prison holding political detainees
Iran: Fire in prison holding political detainees

Demonstrators in Iran set fire to the ancestral home of founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini, two months after the start of the anti-regime protest movement, according to photos circulated on Friday.

Pictures spread on social media, verified by AFP, showed a fire that broke out in the house in the city of Khomein in the western Markazi province late on Thursday, while a crowd of demonstrators celebrated.

It is believed that Khomeini was born in this house, becoming a cleric who repeatedly criticised Shah Reza Pahlavi, whom Washington backed. He left for exile to later return victorious from France to lead the Islamic revolution.

Khomeini died in 1989 but remains an influential symbolic figure for the religious leadership under his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The house was later converted into a museum to commemorate Khomeini. It is not clear how much damage it suffered due to the fire.

The protests were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained by the morality police. The protests represent the biggest popular challenge to Iran's leaders since the 1979 revolution.

The protests, fuelled by anger over Khomeini's imposition of the headscarf on women, turned into a movement calling for the complete overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

Protesters have repeatedly burned or defaced portraits of Khomeini, breaking taboos in the Islamic Republic, which still commemorates his death every June.

READ: Iranians asking whether to abolish or continue headscarf requirement

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