Officials have recovered the remains of four people belonging to a group of over 20 missing miners believed to have been killed by a gang seeking control over a wildcat gold claim in southeastern Venezuela.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega said the remains were found Monday in an area of jungle in Bolivar state near where the miners went missing a week ago.

She said the search continues for the remaining 17 miners. Opposition politicians say as many as 28 miners are missing.

Ortega says authorities have arrested one individual through the investigation and several more are pending.

The circumstances leading to the massacre are unclear but relatives who say they witnessed the attack accuse local officials of being involved, a claim the government denies.