A junta spokesman did not respond to calls from Reuters.
The town fell after a small group of junta soldiers surrendered following fierce fighting, local media outlet Myanmar Now said, quoting a rebel fighter.
However, Richard Horsey, senior adviser for Myanmar at the non-profit International Crisis Group, said the resistance might find it difficult to maintain control over Kawlin.
“It’s not that difficult to surge in and overrun a provincial town close to the mountains. But it will be difficult to hold it,” he told Reuters.
A 28-year-old Kawlin resident, who declined to be named because of security concerns, said they left the town over the weekend after fierce fighting erupted between the rebels and junta soldiers backed by air support.
“Our neighbour’s house was hit. There was no way to stay there safely,” the resident said. “So almost everyone has left.”
Resistance troops have taken over Kawlin’s police station, district administrative office, bank and other key establishments, the NUG said.
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