ISLAMABAD - Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani Sunday visited Bajaur to meet commanders and troops engaged in the ongoing operations. He also met with local tribesmen of the area. Inspector General of Frontier Corps Major General Tariq gave detailed briefing to the Chief of Army Staff on the progress of operations. General Kayani expressed his satisfaction that local tribesmen have risen against miscreants and are fully supporting the Army. He reiterated that success in this operation was directly linked to popular support. The Chief of Army Staff remained with troops for a considerable period of time and had informal interaction with local commanders. He appreciated the high morale of officers and men alike. Earlier, on arrival in the area, Corps Commander of Peshawar Lt Gen Muhammad Masood Aslam received the Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. AFP adds: Troops killed at least 16 Taliban militants after coming under attack in a tribal region near the Afghan border, a security official said Sunday. Militants attacked three military posts near Khar, the main town in Bajaur tribal district, late Saturday, but soldiers repulsed them with artillery and mortar fire, the official told AFP. Early Sunday, helicopter gunships and fighter jets bombed militant positions in three villages in the district, he said. "According to information gathered here 16 militants have been killed in the intense fighting since overnight," the official said. There were no immediate reports of any military casualties, he said. Pakistan's forces have launched a number of major military offensives in recent weeks against militants in Bajaur, which is thought to be an Al-Qaeda stronghold. The military says more than 1,000 extremists have been killed in the six-week operation, including Al-Qaeda's operational commander in Bajaur, Egyptian Abu Saeed Al-Masri. At least 27 troops have also died.