Fresh airstrikes in a volatile southern Afghan region killed up to 10 Taliban fighters close to where villagers say about 40 civilians died during a battle earlier this week, and the US-led coalition said local Afghans feared more militant attacks. Taliban fighters ambushed a patrol of US-led coalition and Afghan forces near Sangin in Helmand province Thursday evening, and gunfire and airstrikes killed 10 militants, said Eizatullah Khan, the Sangin district chief. A coalition spokesman, Sgt. 1st Class Dean Welch, put the toll at six Taliban killed. He had no further details. Two villagers from Sangin said they knew of no civilian casualties caused by the fight. Airstrikes called in by US Special Forces fighting some 200 Taliban militants north of Sangin on Tuesday killed 21 civilians, government officials said, while villagers said nearly 40 civilians were killed.