British troops in southern Iraq have begun redeploying to more volatile regions in central Iraq as requested by the United States.

The British military says its Black Watch troops in the city of Basra began moving north towards Baghdad Wednesday.

It says nearly 800 Scottish soldiers are to replace U.S. troops in areas around Hillah and are expected take part in offensive operations against insurgent strongholds around the Iraqi capital.

The U.S. military requested the move to free up American troops to conduct major counter-insurgency operations in rebel-held areas like Fallujah.

The move is part of a coalition effort to improve security before general elections in Iraq scheduled for January.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says one U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded in a suspected motorcycle bomb attack on their convoy near the town of Sindiayah.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.