A pack of dogs mauled a boy walking to his kindergarten class in northern Switzerland on Thursday morning, killing him instantly, police said.

Three dogs attacked the boy, who suffered "serious bite wounds," Zurich state police spokesman Werner Benz said. The incident occurred in Oberglatt, a town north of Zurich.

Police did not immediately provide the boy's age, and it was not clear why the dogs attacked him, Benz said.

The police impounded the dogs and detained the dogs' owner, a 41-year old Italian man living in the area.