NAIROBI (Reuters) - A U.S. citizen was killed on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital when the vehicle she was in was struck by rocks thrown by people in the area, the U.S. embassy said in a message to citizens.

The embassy did not give details about Tuesday's incident in its message to U.S. citizens that was sent to Reuters, but sporadic protests and violence has flared for a year or more in the Oromiya region, near Addis Ababa, over land and political rights.

Residents say there have been reports in recent days of people hurling stones at vehicles after at least 55 people were killed in a stampede, when police fired teargas and shots in the air to disperse protesters during a festival in Oromiya region.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Andrew Heavens)