More than 100 people were arrested in Botshabelo after residents looted and destroyed foreign-owned shops, Free State police said on Friday.

Constable Consolation Mokoale said the police were helping foreigners to evacuate their shops in Botshabelo, east of Bloemfontein, on Friday morning.

She said three shops were burned down in protest action which started on Wednesday.

The trouble apparently started after the Mangaung metro municipality started removing hawkers from a shopping centre.

Various roads in Botshabelo were blocked with stones and other objects during the protests. – Sapa