Mali's government says it is postponing regional elections that have been opposed by a separatist group in the north.

Mali ministers said late Monday that municipal and regional elections scheduled for Oct. 25 have been delayed because of insecurity in the north and a lack of administration in areas. The decision may calm tensions surrounding the vote.

Mali's government in August announced the elections. The vote could help reassert the government's authority in the north, which fell under control of Tuareg separatists and al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012.

The main Tuareg separatist coalition earlier this month said it would oppose efforts to hold the elections. It said a June peace accord requires a transition team be established in the north first.