Paris: A jobless French man fatally set himself alight Wednesday in front of an unemployment bureau in the western city of Nantes.
The 43-year-old man, who no longer was receiving welfare, was protesting over the agency's demand that he repay a sum of money he received to which he was not entitled, a manager at the state Pole Emploi agency told French radio.
The manager, Jean-Charles Steyger, said the agency had offered to meet with the man after he warned he would set himself on fire inside the employment office.
Police were deployed to prevent him from carrying out his threat, prompting the man to douse himself with gasoline and set himself on fire in the car park.
The incident is the latest in a series of self-immolations in France in the two years since a street vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to draw attention to his struggle with local authorities.
Mohammed Bouazizi's act of despair ignited the first of the Arab Spring revolts and sparked a series of copycat incidents in North Africa and in France, where anxiety over rising unemployment and the high cost of living is running high.
In August, a 57-year-old unemployed father of four set himself on fire outside a public housing office in the Paris suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie. He died of his injuries a few days later.
In 2011, a 44-year-old teacher who was in conflict with her students and a 57-year-old France Telecom worker took their lives in the same manner.