Human rights observers have repeatedly criticised such mass sentencings in Egypt and called on authorities to ensure fair trials. [Amr Nabil/AP Photo]

An Egyptian court has sentenced 37 people to death, including one the country’s most high-profile fighters, on terrorism-related charges.

The Cairo Criminal Court said on Monday the defendants were charged with belonging to a local affiliate of the ISIL (ISIS) armed group spearheading a rebellion in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

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The men are among more than 200 defendants accused of carrying out more than 50 attacks that included killing high-ranking police officers and bombings that targeted the Egyptian capital’s police headquarters.

The charges include a 2013 assassination attempt on the Egyptian interior minister.

Among those sentenced to death was Hisham el-Ashmawi,

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