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Photograph: EPA/MAX WHITTAKER / POOL

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is calling for fresh elections in Iowa, accusing Senator Ted Cruz of beating him in the caucuses through "fraud."

"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" Trump writes on Twitter.

The billionaire businessman who finished second to Cruz points to reports on caucus night that candidate Ben Carson was quitting the race, which he claims swayed Carson supporters to instead vote for Cruz.

Carson had said he was returning home to Florida after Monday night's vote rather than travelling on to New Hampshire, which votes next week, but later clarified he was simply picking up clean laundry, not quitting the race.

Cruz's campaign had alerted volunteers about Carson's plans, but failed to clarify that he was not in fact withdrawing from the race.

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