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Trump, Clinton clinch victories in Arizona primaries

US presidential frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton notched easy victories in the Arizona primaries, inching closer to their respective party nominations for the November elections.

Trump, the leading Republican candidate, trounced his rivals in Arizona Tuesday night, winning all 58 of the state’s delegates.

Trump’s victory will make it harder for the two other remaining GOP contenders, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, to slow his growing momentum in the 2016 race.

The billionaire businessman proved his appeal among Republican hard-liners in the border state, where illegal immigration is a hot-button issue. Trump thanked Arizona voters in a Twitter post.

 

Cruz had campaigned hard in the state and hoped for a potentially game-changing victory there.

In remarks on Tuesday, the senator lambasted Trump for advocating for withdrawing the United States from NATO and President Barack Obama for “going to baseball games with the Castros” in Cuba following the Brussels attacks.

Arizona was the largest winner-take-all state on the map on Tuesday.

Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered at Fountain Park during a campaign rally on March 19, 2016 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. (AFP photo)

Trump clinched four of the five contests on March 15, building a considerable delegate advantage over Cruz – 739 to 425.

Cruz is expected to win the caucuses in Utah, where 40 delegates are at stake.

On the Democratic side, Clinton defeated Senator Bernie Sanders in Arizona, capturing the biggest prize of the night when Democrats were also voting in Idaho and Utah.

Speaking to supporters in Seattle, Clinton addressed the terrorist bombings in Brussels, while taking a jab at her Republican rivals Trump and Cruz for their harsh rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Carl Hayden High School on March 21, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. (AFP photo)

“The last thing we need, my friends, are leaders who incite more fear,” the former secretary of state said. “In the face of terror, America doesn’t panic. We don’t build walls or turn our backs on our allies. We can’t throw out everything we know about what works and what doesn’t and start torturing.”

“This is a time for America to lead, not cower, and we will lead, and we will defeat terrorism and defend our friends and allies,” she added.

 

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