Police in Luanshya on the Copperbelt have shot and wounded three small scale miners commonly known as jerabos in a bid to quell a protest.
The jerabos had staged a protest against the decision by Luanshya Copper Mines management for allegedly handing over a disused copper dump slug site to a Chinese firm.
The small scale miners want to be allowed to continue to illegally mine from the copper rich site.
A Diamond News crew in Luanshya reports that the jerabos fought running battles with police and vowed not to leave the disused slug dump area until ownership of the site is clarified.
And Copperbelt Police Commissioner Charity Katanga has confirmed the incident but says the injuries suffered by the jerabos were due to rubber bullets and teargas canisters that were used to disperse the violent protesters.
Ms. Katanga told Diamond News that she is still waiting for a detailed report from the police command in Luanshya.