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US admits drone killings

The US government has formally acknowledged for the first time that it has killed four Americans since 2009 using drones in Yemen and Pakistan, including militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

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Obama on 'necessary, legal and just' drone strikes

President Barack Obama is to explain the rationale for US drone strikes in a speech later.

"He will discuss why the use of drone strikes is necessary, legal, and just, while addressing the various issues raised by our use of targeted action," a White House official said.

Undated handout image courtesy of the US Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft Credit: Reuters

The speech will coincide with the signing of new "Presidential Policy Guidance" to lay out standards for lethal drone strikes.

Obama will also reiterate his pledge to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where foreign terrorism suspects are held and "announce a number of specific steps to advance that goal," the official said.

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