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Thousands of US troops could be sent to Mexico border

Key Points
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authorized the use of troops and other military resources at the U.S-Mexico border.
  • U.S. officials said there could be at least 800 active-duty troops that will begin deploying as soon as Tuesday.
Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, leave Arriaga on their way to San Pedro Tapanatepec, southern Mexico on October 27, 2018. 
Guillermo Arias | AFP | Getty Images

The total number of U.S. troops heading to the border with Mexico to help stop a caravan of migrants could be in the thousands but there is no firm figure yet, a U.S. official told Reuters on Monday, offering a much higher estimate than the 800 to 1,000 initially forecast.

The Pentagon declined comment on potential troop numbers, saying planning was still underway for a mission that aims to bolster President Donald Trump's efforts to stop Central American migrants trekking toward the United States.

Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis authorized the use of troops and other military resources at the U.S-Mexico border.

Officials at the time said Mattis' authorization did not include a specific number of troops, something that would be determined at a later point.

U.S. officials told Reuters last week that number could be at least 800 active-duty troops and begin deploying as soon as Tuesday.

Trump, who campaigned against illegal immigration to win the 2016 U.S. presidential vote, has seized on this caravan in the run-up to the Nov. 6 mid-term congressional elections, firing up support for his Republican Party.

Estimates on the size of the caravan vary from around 3,500 to more than double that. Some migrants have abandoned the journey, deterred by the hardships or the possibility of making a new life in Mexico. Others joined it in southern Mexico.

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Key Points
  • In the wake of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue and a series of mail bombings addressed to prominent Democrats and CNN, President Donald Trump says the "great anger in our Country" is "caused in part" by the "Fake News Media."
  • "The true Enemy of the People," Trump says in a pair of tweets, "must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly."