Liberian officials say more than 60 miners, some armed, have been arrested at an illegal gold mine in north-eastern Liberia where around 40 people remain trapped in a collapsed pit.
An official of the disaster management agency, Archievego Doe said the illegal miners “resisted” a team sent to restore order at the site.
Another official described the situation as “lawless”.
Rescuers have so far retrieved seven bodies after the walls of the pit caved in on February 10.
Liberian authorities deployed a team comprising of the army, police, immigration and drug enforcement agency officials to the gold field in Nimba county, a major centre for illicit mining.
Doe said the immigration services were involved in the operation because some of the illegal miners are foreigners.
Thousands of people are believed to work in the mine, near the town of Tapeta.