A police team which approached North Sentinel Island on Saturday, a week after an isolated indigenous group killed an American man, retreated after it saw men armed with bows and arrows, AFP reported. The team was attempting to recover John Allen Chau’s body.

Using binoculars, police officers in a boat about 400 metres from the shore saw armed men on the beach where Chau was last seen, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Director General of Police Dependra Pathak told the agency. “They stared at us and we were looking at them,” Pathak. The police withdrew in the face of a possible confrontation.

In a press note released on Friday, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Police said they had already undertaken two expeditions to the island, The News Minute reported on Saturday. The team consisted of officials from the police department, forest department, tribal welfare department and the Coast Guard.

It is forbidden by law for strangers to enter North Sentinel Island. The police have so far arrested several fishermen who helped ferry Chau to the island.