LUSAKA (AFP) — Students from Zambia’s biggest university staged violent protests and stoned vehicles to press for an increment in meal allowances, police said Saturday.

University of Zambia students blocked roads near their campus on Friday night before they were dispersed by riot police officers using teargas, a police statement said.

“The police officers have been deployed at the campus in order to protect public property,” the police said.

Although some students were arrested the police did not say how many.

Similar protests also took place at the Copperbelt University, another state-run institution, where the government provides free bursaries to students who cannot afford to pay fees.

“The ring leaders of the protest have been identified and will be made to account for their action,” said Grace Mikunga, spokesperson of the Copperbelt University in a statement.

Student riots over low government funding levels of the two state-run universities have become increasingly common.

The government has said it plans to stop free bursaries offered to poor students because it has been the source of riots and demonstrations.

Source: AFP