Trump wins GOP primaries in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut
Donald Trump called for Muslims to be banned from entering the US following the San Bernardino attack last December (AFP Photo/Darren Hauck)

Donald Trump extended his lead in the Republican presidential race on Tuesday by winning primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut, edging closer to seizing the party's nomination in a fresh blow to rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Trump, who has gained momentum after losing the Wisconsin primary to Cruz on April 5, was also expected to win the other two Northeastern states that voted, Rhode Island and Delaware.

Cruz was already looking ahead to Indiana's Republican primary contest on May 3.

"I got good news for you: Tonight, this campaign moves back to more favorable terrain," the U.S. senator from Texas said in Knightstown, Indiana, inside the high school gymnasium made famous by the underdog movie, "Hoosiers."

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Emily Stephenson; Additional reporting by Amanda Becker in Philadelphia, Luciana Lopez in New York and Jeff Mason, Alana Wise and Megan Casella in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney)