canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
An Austrian soldier has been killed by two Belgian Shepherd service dogs he was tasked with feeding.

The 31-year-old, who had worked as a dog handler since 2017, was in charge of caring for and feeding the dogs at the barracks at Wiener Neustadt near the capital Vienna.

An officer spotted the two Belgian Shepherd dogs running loose at the barracks south of Vienna early Thursday. The fatally injured staff sergeant was then found inside the dogs' kennel.

'Apparently the dogs attacked the soldier,' the defence ministry said in a statement.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the attack.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF quoted a Defense Ministry spokesman saying one of the dogs was an fully trained service dog while the second, aged about six months, was about to undergo training.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has expressed his condolences to the victim's family and to his fellow soldiers.

The Austrian army has 170 service dogs.