JOWHAR, Somalia (AP) _ The leader of the Islamic militants who captured the Somali capital earlier this month said 300 Ethiopian troops entered the country on Saturday and accused the United States of supporting the incursion.

The Ethiopian troops entered Somalia through the border town of Dolow in the southwestern region of Gedo at 8 a.m., Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, told journalists.

``We want the whole world to know what's going on. The United States is encouraging Ethiopia to take over the area. Ethiopia has crossed our borders and are heading for us. They are supporting the transitional federal government,'' Ahmed said.

``They have deployed a lot of soldiers around the border towns, which is why we have been saying that Ethiopia is going to send in troops to Somalia,'' the cleric said.