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Obama admits 'worst-kept secret': US flies drones over Pakistan

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Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP/File

(Read caption) In this 2010 file photo, a US Predator drone flies over the moon above Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan. President Obama publicly acknowledged US drone attacks in Pakistan during a Q&A Monday.

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President Obama publicly acknowledged the covert US drone program in Pakistan during a Q&A Monday – the first public admission of what CNN described as "the worst kept secret in Washington and Pakistan."

The US has kept quiet about the program partially for the sake of the Pakistani government, which publicly and vociferously condemns the program because of strong public opposition at home, but still permits the strikes. The drones target Al Qaeda and Taliban militants based in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Afghan border. 

Aside from a statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry saying that the drone attacks are "unlawful, counterproductive and hence unacceptable," according to Pakistan's Geo News, there has so far been little reaction to the disclosure in Pakistani media, which is usually quick to condemn drone attacks.

Obama's acknowledgement came in response to a question during the Q&A in a Google+ video chat room interview, Monday. 

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