WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens on Friday to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia because of ongoing unrest that has killed hundreds of people, led to thousands of arrests and prompted restrictions on diplomatic travel.

The Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency on Oct. 8 and issued a decree on Oct. 15 that permitted the arrest of individuals without court order for some routine activities like attending gatherings and engaging with foreign organizations, the State Department said.

An American woman was killed when her car was stoned earlier this month and foreign-owned factories and equipment were damaged during a wave of protests over land and political rights.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech)