Moroccan dies after setting self ablaze over French visa

A Moroccan man died Friday after setting himself on fire outside a French consulate in protest at delays in his visa application, a local NGO said.

Mustapha Riad died a week after setting himself ablaze outside the consulate in the southwestern city of Agadir "due to a lack of a response to his visa request", Aziz Sallami, president of the local branch of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, told AFP.

Riad, who had lived in France for 17 years, had lost his French residency permit and applied for a visa, Sallami added.

The French embassy in Rabat said it regretted Riad's "tragic" death.

France provides around 200,000 Moroccans with visas each year, an embassy spokesman said.

More than 1.3 million Moroccans live in France.