US President Donald Trump has claimed that women travelling with a caravan of Central American migrants are being "raped at levels never seen before". 

The caravan, which numbered more than 1,000 Hondurans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans, began breaking up yesterday, after the activists organising it said it had abandoned its goal of reaching the US border and would end its activities with a rally in Mexico City.

Speaking during an event in west Virginia, Mr Trump hit out at US immigration policy and claimed women travelling with the caravan are being "raped at levels nobody has ever seen before".

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He criticised the US lottery system saying other countries are "not putting their good ones" in it.

Besides ordering thousands of National Guardsmen to secure the border, Mr Trump has also threatened to ax what he called Mexico's "cash cow," the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), if the Mexican authorities did not stop the migrants.

Since peaking at around 1,500 people, the caravan has dwindled after Mexican authoritIes issued permits shielding many from imminent deportation from Mexico.


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Mr Trump's tweets criticising the caravan have showered it in far more publicity than its organisers, US-based advocacy group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, ever expected.

But his proposal to militarise the border has sparked a diplomatic row with Mexico.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto rebuked him over his plan to send National Guard troops to the border, urging Mr Trump not to vent his domestic political "frustration" on Mexico.

"If your recent declarations are due to frustration over issues to do with internal policy, your laws, or your Congress, direct yourself to them, not to Mexicans," Mr PeñaNieto said.

During the Virginia event Mr Trump also threw away printed remarks he was due to make, describing them as boring.

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