Klan leaders charged after stabbing ahead of pro-Trump rally

This booking photo of William Hagen, one of the two leaders of the Ku Klux Klan group, arrested in Caswell County in the south-eastern US state of North Carolina (AFP Photo/Caswell County Sheriff) (Caswell County Sheriff/AFP)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Two leaders of the Ku Klux Klan group were set to appear in court on charges of stabbing a fellow white supremacist before a parade to celebrate Donald Trump's presidential election, a sheriff's official said.

William Hagen and Christopher Barker were arrested Saturday in Caswell County in the southeastern US state of North Carolina after allegedly stabbing Richard Dillon, a sheriff's official in the county said.

The official, who would not give his name, said on Tuesday the men had gotten into an argument with Dillon that turned violent.

Hagen has been identified as the leader, or "Grand Dragon," of the Loyal White Knights faction of the Klan in California. Barker is the founder, or "Imperial Wizard," of the Loyal White Knights in North Carolina.

Both were charged with assault with a deadly weapon after Dillon, who was stabbed in the chest, went to police.

The pair were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The incident took place hours before the Klan held a "Trump victory parade" in Roxboro, North Carolina, during which participants shouted white power slogans.

Hagen was one of several Klan members involved in a "white lives matter" rally in February in Anaheim, California, that escalated into violence.

Trump's victory has been widely celebrated by white supremacist groups in the United States and former KKK leader David Duke has expressed support for the Republican president-elect.

Trump has disavowed the KKK and Duke but some have argued not strongly enough.