CAIRO   -   An Egyptian court issued on Saturday preliminary death sentences against seven defendants involved in attacking a hotel in Giza near the capital Cairo in 2016, official MENA news agency reported. The defendants are among 26 others who are accused of leading an outlawed group, supplying it with firearms and money as well as attacking the hotel, MENA said.

They also face charges of illegal possession of weapons and ammunition in addition to attacking police forces and vandalizing public property during the period of mid-2015 to Feb. 13, 2016. The court set June 22 to issue its final verdict against all defendants.

Terrorism prevailed in Egypt since the military ousted former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in early July 2013 in response to mass protests against his rule and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Terror attacks killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in restive North Sinai province northeast of Cairo before they gradually extended to other provinces, where dozens of civilians, mainly Christians, were killed.