US worried Gaddafi could return to 'terrorism'

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, with Tunisian foreign Minister Mouldi Kafi, holds a joint press conference in Tunis on Thursday. Clinton said Thursday a UN no-fly zone over Libya would require the bombing of targets to take out the threat posed by Moammar Gaddafi's regime (AP)

A senior US official warned Thursday there was a "very real danger" that Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi could return to terrorism if he is allowed to consolidate his control over the fractured nation.

There is "a very real danger that if Gaddafi is successful on the ground, that you also face a number of considerable risks as well, the dangers of him returning to terrorism and violent extremism himself," under secretary of state for political affairs William Burns told US senators.

Burns said forces loyal to Gaddafiafi were just 160 kilometers from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and making rapid advances due to superior military power, in a move that could see the regime ultimately trounce the most serious uprising against Kadhafi's rule in four decades.

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