BUHL, Minn. (AP) _ Community leaders in Minnesota are denouncing efforts by a North Carolina-based Ku Klux Klan group that has distributed hundreds of recruiting flyers in the northeast part of the state.

The group has posted flyers in the city of Virginia, and the towns of Buhl and Embarrass. Community leaders say they're working to identify who distributed the flyers. The KKK group is based in a community more than 1,200 miles away.

Ryan Lenz is a spokesman with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. He says the center has seen racist groups increase recruitment efforts nationwide.

The flyers in Minnesota come at a time when racial tensions have increased over events including last year's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the removal of Confederate statues across the U.S.