At least three stabbed at Ku Klux Klan rally in California

Three people stabbed, 13 others arrested after violence erupts between Ku Klux Klan members, counter-protesters in California

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A Ku Klux Klansman, left, uses an American flag to fend off angry counter-protesters after members of the KKK tried to start a "White Lives Matter" rally at Pearson Park in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016.

Police said at least three people have been stabbed at a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) rally on Saturday during clashes between members of the KKK and counter-protesters in Anaheim, California.

Anaheim Police Sergeant Daron Wyatt said that 13 people were arrested, including one KKK member who is accused of stabbing a counter-protester with a flagpole.

Several counter-protesters who clashed with KKK members were also taken into custody.

A small group of KKK members had announced to hold a rally at Pearson Park at 1:30 pm (local time) but at 11:00 am several dozen counter-protesters confronted them.

"As soon as they got out of their vehicle, immediately they were attacked by counter-protesters and this caused a melee down the block," he said.

One of the counter-protesters was gravely wounded and taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

A counter protester tries to tear off the shirt of a Ku Klux Klansman after members of the KKK tried to start a "White Lives Matter" rally at Pearson Park in Anaheim on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 / Photo by AP

Witnesses said that clash started when several KKK members arrived in a black SUV and began to unload signs as a group of about 50 counter-protesters approached them, yelling and throwing sticks.

"Three people were stabbed by the fire hydrant," said Darren Simpson. "These Klan guys were fighting for their lives."

Ku Klux Klan, founded after the abolition of slavery in the US South in the mid-19th century, has evolved in recent years into a collection of loosely affiliated or independent groups that share a political philosophy based on racial separation.

Most recently it made national headlines when a former KKK leader, David Duke, said he backed Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump rejected Duke's support and on Friday a man wearing a shirt reading "KKK endorses Trump," was ejected from a Trump campaign rally in Oklahoma.

TRTWorld and agencies