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Houthi Rebels Reportedly in Military Drill Near Saudi Border

FILE - Houthi fighters ride a patrol truck in Sana'a, Yemen, March 5, 2015. Thousands of the rebels are conducting military exercises near Saudi Arabia, sources say.

Thousands of Houthis, the Shi'ite Muslim militia that controls much of Yemen, are holding military exercises in the northern part of the country near the border with Saudi Arabia, local tribal and Houthi sources said Thursday.

The drill in al-Buqa area, which lies in the Houthis' home province of Saada, involves using different kinds of weaponry, including heavy weapons acquired from the Yemeni army, the sources said.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, regards the Iranian-backed Shi'ite group to be a terrorist group. The group seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September. In 2009, Riyadh carried out a military operation including air raids against the Houthis after a number of cross-border incursions.