Lebanon's state run news agency says the country's parliament has extended its term 17 months because of deteriorating security conditions related to Syria's civil war.

The National News Agency says parliament has postponed elections from June until November 2014.

Dozens of people have been killed in Lebanon over the past two years in clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian Lebanese groups, making it difficult to hold elections amid tension.

The decision was expected. It is widely seen as a blow to Lebanon's tradition of free elections in a region known for autocratic governments, but it may help lower tensions at a critical time for the fragile and deeply divided country.

Friday's decision also comes after rival blocs in the 128-member legislature failed to agree on a new elections law.