Jobless Frenchman immolates himself

An unemployed Frenchman died Wednesday after setting himself on fire outside the state employment agency in the western city of Nantes, police said.

The man had sent messages to journalists warning he would self-immolate this week after being declared ineligible for unemployment benefits.

A 51-year-old jobless man had also burnt himself to death near Paris in August.

The number of unemployed has risen steadily in France for the past 20 months, and could soon reach the record high set in January 1997 of 3.2 million.