Protests have erupted inside and outside a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico, which has a large Hispanic population. Security staff evicted detractors. Outside, protestors overran barricades and clashed with police.
Presumed Republican US presidential candidate Trump was interrupted repeatedly inside Albuquerque's convention center on Tuesday evening. He responded by telling one detractor he was a 10-year-old "still wearing diapers."
Opinion surveys show Trump and Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton in a tight race ahead of the November US presidential election. Clinton on Tuesday accused Trump of profiting from the previous decade's housing market crash.
Trump's address to thousands of cheering supporters in Albuquerque was repeatedly interrupted by protestors who held up banners, including the messages "Trump is Fascist" and "We've heard enough."
Security staff dragged out a female protestor. Police said they made several arrests inside the venue.
T-shirts set ablaze
Outside, demonstrators set fire to T-shirts bearing the catchphrase "Make America Great Again." Dozens tied themselves to barricades after trying to break through.
The shirts, plastic bottles and rocks were thrown at police and their horses, according to the American television channel ABCNews.
Police in riot gear fired pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd.
Television footage showed some protestors waving Mexican flags.
During the scuffles, Trump touted his controversial policies, including his plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and to exclude Muslim refugees, notably those from Syria.
The violence left broken glass at the center's entrance. Albuquerque lawyer Doug Antoon said windows had been broken by rocks.
"This was not a protest, this was a riot," he said.
University of New Mexico student Karla Molinar said she helped disrupt Trump's speech because he was using migrants living in the country illegally as scapegoats.
Republican governor stays away
State Governor Susana Martinez, who heads the Republican Governors Association, did not attend the rally.
Her spokesman Michael Lonergan hit back at Trump's claim that Martinez's governorship was ineffective, saying she would "not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans."
She had not heard this in Trump's remarks, Lonergan said.
Clinton quotes Trump
Clinton's team on Tuesday issued a campaign video containing an audio clip recorded in 2006 in which Trump could be heard saying he hoped the market would fall because he would then "make a lot of money."
Defending his remark in Albuquerque, saying real estate purchases in a declining market showed smart dealmaking skills that he would bring to the White House.
"I feel badly for everybody. What am I going to do? I'm in business," he said.
Clinton, Sanders focus on California
Clinton is still fighting on two fronts as she seeks to wrap up her primary battle with Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, a US senator from Vermont.
Trump chalked up another primary win on Tuesday in the western US state of Washington, taking 76 percent of the vote, according to an initial tally.
Although they have suspended their campaigns in the Republican race, the names of Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich were printed on the state's ballot papers.
They each picked up about 10 percent.
Sanders had already won his party's caucuses held in Washington state in March.
Sanders and Clinton both campaigned on Tuesday in California, where Clinton needs a strong finish heading into her party's national convention in July.
ipj/kms (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)