(CNN) -- U.S. military forces landed at a compound in Pakistan to battle targets linked to recent attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official confirmed Wednesday.
Security in the South Waziristan area of Pakistan has deteriorated in recent years.
The official declined to be identified, citing the extreme sensitivity of U.S. forces operating within Pakistan's borders.
The action was an uncommon one for the U.S. military. Generally, NATO forces do not enter Pakistan except when pursuing insurgents in Afghanistan who slipped over the border or, in an extreme case, to pursue a high-value target.
The Pentagon has refused to comment officially on the attack, but several defense officials acknowledged that U.S. military activity had taken place inside Pakistan.
The senior U.S. official said a small number of U.S. helicopters landed troops in the village near Angoor Adda in South Waziristan, where Taliban and al Qaeda fighters have hunkered down over the years.
Local media reports said the troops came out of a chopper and fired on civilians. The U.S. official said there may have been a small number of women and children in the immediate vicinity, but when the mission began "everybody came out firing" from the compound.
He said the U.S. troops specifically attacked three buildings in the compound. They were believed to contain individuals responsible for training and equipping insurgents who have been crossing the border into Afghanistan in increasing numbers in recent months and staging large-scale, high-profile attacks against U.S. and coalition forces.
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