An armed ethnic alliance in Myanmar claimed Saturday to have taken a northern town notorious for online scamming compounds in another blow to the embattled junta.

The military is facing its biggest threat to power since seizing power in a 2021 coup after three ethnic armed groups -- known as the Brotherhood Alliance -- launched a sweeping October offensive in northern Shan state.

For months, people have been fleeing Laukkai town, located in a district bordering China that is run by a military-aligned militia and notorious for gambling, prostitution and online scams.

The Brotherhood Alliance -- made up of the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Arakan Army (AA) and the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) -- said the town was now under their control.

"All members from the Myanmar Army's Military Operational Command in Laukkai were disarmed and Laukkai became a clean area where there are no more members of the Myanmar Army," the alliance said in a statement.

The statement added that scores of junta soldiers, including some officers, had been captured and disarmed.

The junta has not commented.

Laukkai is the latest town to fall to the alliance alongside vital border hubs, damaging trade with China for the cash-strapped junta.

Late last month, Beijing asked citizens to leave the contested region, citing heightened security risks.

While China is a major arms supplier and ally of the junta, relations have been strained in recent months over the junta's failure to crack down on online scam compounds in Myanmar that Beijing says target Chinese citizens.

And analysts say China maintains ties with ethnic armed groups in northern Myanmar, some of whom share close ethnic and cultural links with China and use Chinese currency and phone networks in the territory they control.