Duterte on Marawi: 'It's not Maute, it's purely ISIS'

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President Duterte speaks before newly appointed government officials on Thursday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City is the handiwork of foreign terrorists, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Alam mo yung rebellion sa Mindanao. It's not Maute. It's purely ISIS with different branches kasi sila yung nag-umpisa. Actually, iyang Maute brothers went to Libya," the President said in a speech in Malacañang on Thursday before newly-appointed government officials.

[Translation: You know this rebellion in Mindanao, it's not Maute. It's purely ISIS, they have different branches because they were the ones who started this. Actually, the Maute brothers went to Libya.]

The military had initially said it was the ISIS-inspired, local terror group Maute who was wreaking havoc in the Islamic city of Marawi.

Duterte continued to say that the siege of the Lanao del Sur capital could not have been a last-minute decision.

"(This) Marawi ... has long been planned. It could not just be a decision, 'Let's go to Mindanao.' Plano na ito lahat (It had been planned). And it's a long time," the President said.

Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said eight foreign terrorists believed to be members of ISIS were among those killed in clashes in Marawi since fighting broke out last Tuesday.

Related: 8 foreign 'ISIS members' killed in Marawi

Lorenzana said this included two Malaysians, two Indonesians, two Saudi Arabians, a Yemeni and a Chechen — adding "there could be more" slain foreign terrorists that authorities have not yet identified.

Duterte continued to say he was saddened by the loss of lives on the government side, including the 11 soldiers who were killed by a wayward bomb during a military airstrike the day before.

As early as last year, the President had already warned of the creeping presence of the dreaded international terrorist group ISIS — saying a number of  foreigners posing as missionaries had been spotted in Mindanao.