Seven women and one man have been arrested in the latest round of arrests in the ongoing battle against building a giant telescope atop a mountain many Native Hawaiians consider sacred.

The state Department of Land and Natural resources says 20 of its officers arrested the protesters on Mauna Kea early Wednesday.

Protesters say officers hauled them away while they were praying. A group of people opposed to building the Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain have been camping on the mountain to maintain around-the-clock guard to prevent construction from resuming.

The state says it made the arrests to enforce an emergency rule created to stop people from camping on Mauna Kea.

This is the fourth time telescope opponents have been arrested on the mountain.