WASHINGTON - The United States is starting to use armed Predator drones in Libya to target Muammar Gaddafi's forces after US President Barack Obama approved their use, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.

The unmanned aircraft, already used to target militants along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, will allow for more precise attacks against Gaddafi's forces, Gates told a news conference.

"He (Obama) has approved the use of armed Predators," Gates said.

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