6 foreign soldiers, 2 Afghan troops die in clashes

Clashes between Taliban fighters and Western-led forces killed eight troops, including two Afghan soldiers, and 10 militants in Afghanistan, where insurgent attacks are at their highest level since the US invasion nearly six years ago, officials said Monday. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he was adding 150 military trainers to a 1,000-person contingent in Afghanistan after months of speculation about his country's commitment to the international force. "I decided to reinforce the presence of our trainers in the Afghan army, because it is (the Afghan army) that must first of all wage and win the fight against the Taliban," Sarkozy said in opening an annual conference of French ambassadors, his first as president. Speculation that France could withdraw its troops surfaced this spring after it pulled out 200 special forces in December, and after Sarkozy said during the presidential campaign that France had no reason to stay long-term.