Tijuana (Mexico) (AFP) – Tension mounted as hundreds of Central American migrants massed at a Mexican border town headed on Thursday for a bridge crossing to the United States as President Donald Trump renewed his threats to repel them.

With US helicopters hovering overhead, a group made up mostly of men headed just after midday from the shelter they have been staying at since last week to the El Chaparral bridge around a kilometer (half a mile) away in Tijuana, just across the border from San Diego, California.

Trump on Thursday threatened to close the border altogether, having previously deployed nearly 6,000 troops to erect concrete barriers and razor-wire fences to deter what he has called an “invasion.”

“If we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” Trump told reporters, before firing a warning to Mexico.

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