Police are blaming the "Pagans," an outlaw motorcycle gang that operates along the East Coast, for a melee on Long Island - the third outbreak of violence in the area in recent months.

Investigators said Wednesday that the escalation could be related to an internal power struggle within the organization that has replaced some longtime members of the gang with newer bikers."You might say they're asocial dudes," said Nassau County Police Sgt. Frederick Drummond.

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The latest incident occurred Tuesday night in the parking lot of a Nathan's restaurant in Oceanside, N.Y. Nassau County Police Sgt. John King said three dozen Pagans started a fight at an otherwise peaceful biker gathering and attacked about eight ex-club members with knives and clubs.

Six of the former Pagans were injured in the fracas, three of them seriously. A 35-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen, a 27-year-old man was stabbed in the face, and a 33-year-old man suffered contusions and cuts after being clubbed.