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OC Weekly via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, Eric Hood
In this photo provided by OC Weekly a falling Ku Klux Klansman gets shoved by a counter-protester behind him, after members of the KKK tried to start an anti-immigration rally at Pearson Park in Anaheim on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Three people were stabbed Saturday, one critically, after a small group of Ku Klux Klan members staging an anti-immigrant rally clashed with a larger gathering of counter-protesters, police said.

ANAHEIM, California — Police say five Ku Klux Klan members who were arrested following a violent brawl in Anaheim have been released because evidence show they acted in self-defense.

Anaheim Sgt. Daron Wyatt said Sunday that seven people who remain in custody were seen beating beating, stomping and attacking the Klansmen with wooden posts.

A police statement said the clash, which erupted after six Klan members arrived at a park Saturday for a planned anti-immigration rally, was started by more than a larger group of counter protesters who had "the intent of perpetrating violence."

Police said the Klansmen stabbed three counter protesters with knives and the decorative end of a flag pole, but said they had a right to defend themselves when attacked.