Members of Hamas security forces.
Members of Hamas security forces take part in a graduation ceremony in Gaza. Photo by Reuters
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Reuters
Hamas chief Khaled Meshal, left, and Hamas' Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, attend a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Gaza City, December 8, 2012. Photo by Reuters

The Gaza Strip's Hamas government says it has arrested six militant extremists it says is suspected of stealing weapons and plotting attacks.

Hamas' Interior Ministry said Thursday that four men were charged with stealing rockets belonging to Palestinian militants and two others had tried to attack targets in Gaza.

The statement described the men as "extremists calling themselves Salafis," a reference to Muslims following a hardline version of Islamic law. It didn't say when the men were arrested.

Shadowy Salafi groups oppose the Islamic militant group Hamas' rule of Gaza, seeing it as too moderate.

Inspired by the al-Qaida terror network, they often claim responsibility for firing rockets at Israel.

The arrests came days after an Israeli airstrike killed a Gaza Salafi who Israel said was responsible for a recent attack on southern Israel.